The paper reports a study from a research program designed to examine the effects of social resources on the status attainment process. Social resources are defined as the wealth, status, power, as well as social ties, of those persons who are directly or indirectly linked to the individual. We propose that access to and use of social resources through one's network provide an essential transition between family background and education on the one hand, and the socioeconomic status achievement on the other. The study focuses on the social resources individuals used in seeking first and last jobs. By identifying the occupational status of the personal contact used, it was possible to assess the relative contributions of family background (e.g., father's educational and occupational statuses), education, and social resources (source status) to the explained variation of achieved occupational statuses. Data from a representative sample of males, 20–64, who were then or had been in the civilian labor force in a tri-city area of Northeastern United States confirmed the important and independent effect of social resources on occupational achievement. Potential shift toward a theory of social stratification and mobility with a focus on the use and manipulation of resources from one's social network is discussed.

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