Chapter 3 has the topic of ‘Socialization’. Read Genie Wiley’s story and discuss what would happen if a child grows up without proper socialization. The both links below have her story. Please read both of them.
Link1: The Story of Feral Child Genie Wiley (verywellmind.com) (Links to an external site.)
Link2: Starved, tortured, forgotten: Genie, the feral child who left a mark on researchers | Children | The Guardian
Social Capital and Social Closure Every business needs to ﬁll positions from time to time. From the organization’s point of view, ﬁlling a position means recruiting a pool of hopefuls, screening for the most suitable candidates, and selecting a new hire from among the best candidates. In practice, the steps can be collapsed into one, as in the case of the sole proprietor who literally hires the ﬁrst person through the door, or they can be telescoped into an elaborate multistage process starting with the receptionist who gives out the application and ending with the personnel chief who makes the ﬁnal decision. In our interviews, we saw this full range, with small print shops and restaurants on the most informal end and public sector hospitals at the most formal and bureaucratic. From the standpoint of the idealized job applicant, an unemployed individual seeking work, the process looks different. He or she is involved in a parallel process of identifying a list of prospective ﬁrms and positions, winnowing these down to the few most suitable, and ﬁnally applying for those that seem best. Like the employer, the applicant can be indiscriminate, applying for work with each ﬁrm she or he encounters, or fussy, applying for only the very most desirable positions. The idealized job applicant, however, is not the typical applicant, and not simply because one tries to avoid the unenviable situation of looking for a position when already jobless. Few of us go on the market “blind,” without guidance from past experience and without assistance from friends, relatives, former co-workers, and others who can help. 100 Social Capital and Social Closure 101 Work histories generate path dependence; one’s prior employment does not solely affect the types of skills one can market, but also inﬂuences the contacts one can utilize and one’s very vision of the available opportunities, since one’s understanding of how the labor market works is shaped by the experience of self and friends. Finally, a good deal of jobﬁnding goes on without shopping or searching; whether through accident (the working of gossip chains) or the purposive action of disinterested or self-interested others, information about job openings comes to you. The renaissance in economic sociology, a phenomenon that resonates with developments in the sociology of immigration, has at its center the “discovery” that economic relations are not a world apart; instead they are fundamentally embedded in social relations. Economic transactions often involve trust between the parties; at the very least, some foreknowledge—derived from experience or reputation—of the traits of the participants is required for any exchange to occur. Recurrent social interactions, and the consequent development of stable social relations, are the rule, not the exception. The literature on ethnic enterprise both illustrates and illuminates the ways economic activities are embedded in social relations. Ethnic businesses burgeon through an ability to mobilize and proﬁt from co-ethnic labor, utilizing pre-existing ties to recruit labor and deploy it, under arrangements that reﬂect membership in a common community. The paternalistic management style of small ethnic ﬁrms emphasizes the fact that the worker-employer connection is not separable, in practice, from underlying social relations, especially when we recall that the “fatherly” ethnic employer must meet non-economic obligations with his co-ethnic “children.” The literature has also shown that ethnic economies may be supported, not simply by the self-conscious activities of owners and workers who actively identify with the “community” or group, but through the operation of contacts based on purely social ties that nonetheless facilitate economic transactions. For example, Light and Bonacich developed the concept of “ethnic facilitation,” referring to the way the clustering of earlier immigrants in business lines sends signals to newcomers as to the most appropriate economic pursuits.1 Writing with Thomas Bailey, Roger Waldinger2 applied the concept of “training system” to show how ethnic networks increase the quality and quantity of information exchanged between co-ethnic employers and employees, reducing, for both, the risks associated with investment in skills. And Alejandro Portes and Julia Sensenbrenner underlined the 102 From Market to Work impact of “bounded solidarity” and “enforceable trust” in promoting altruism in immigrant communities and creating mechanisms to reduce the likelihood of opportunism.3 Thus the scholars of ethnic enterprise have sketched a picture in which social—not market—processes provide the more effective economic medium, even when the economies in question bear many traits of the classic market model. But it also appears that the embeddedness of ethnic economies in networks and communities leads to cooperative, if not conformist, behavior among ethnic economic actors. As Portes has noted: Ethnic networks are the key source of tips for suitable business sites for middleman merchants and for employment opportunities in a developing occupational niche. Networks are equally important as a source of capital to start middleman shops as well as enclave ﬁrms. Bounded solidarity underlines the common preference that immigrants manifest for their fellows in business transactions. Although buying from co-ethnic ﬁrms, hiring other immigrants, or bringing them into the same employment site may be motivated by self-interest, each such instance also possesses a clear altruistic component based on solidarity with one’s in-group.4 Of course, one can treat social capital as an endogenous group characteristic, existing “in the relations among persons,” as Coleman insisted, and varying between groups with the extent of their mutual trustworthiness and trust.5 But, as Portes has also pointed out, “social capital refers to the capacity of individuals to command scarce resources by virtue of their membership in networks or broader social structures.”6 Since, by deﬁnition, the social structures promoting a group’s economic action belong to that group and no other, membership affects outsiders and insiders differently. As noted in chapter 5, the interests of bosses and immigrant workers recurrently lead organizations to source labor through the social connections of the established workers. But these interests do not always coincide; the networks also provide immigrant workers with leverage against their bosses, who share neither their class position nor their ethnic afﬁliation. Likewise, one group’s ability to mobilize resources through social structures can serve as a strategy for limiting another group’s chances for advancement, with the embeddedness of economic life generating both pressures and motivation to exclude outsiders. By the same token, reliance on networks can breed the appearance of favoritism and the reality of nepotism, outcomes that many organizations ﬁnd threatening. Recognition of the embeddedness of hiring processes in a social context consequently calls forth, as we shall see Social Capital and Social Closure 103 in chapter 7, mechanisms designed to mitigate the undesirable effects of networks. embeddedness and network recruitment “Under all values lies the hard cash,” reads a famous text in political economy. The employers we interviewed had apparently read the same manual, praising network recruitment because it was cheap: “It does not cost us a penny”; “It saves me having to spend money on ads”; “It’s easy and quick.” But their interest was not simply to forego an outlay of physical or personal capital; network recruitment seemed to furnish a large, often satisfactory supply of labor—sometimes “an unlimited supply of people”—with little, occasionally no, managerial effort. Existing ties to incumbents provided almost instant access to a latent labor force outside the workplace. “All you gotta do is just think about hiring people and then next thing you know you’ve got several people from other departments saying ‘Hey, I understand you’re hiring, and I got a friend’ or ‘My husband’s out of work’ . . . they just come out of the woodwork. This happens even before the job’s posted.” Just as social connections secure jobs for persons not actively looking—a conceptual complication of non-trivial importance for the jobsearch literature—social networks produce applicants for employers who do not yet have vacancies. “Fifty percent of our people come from referrals,” explained the HR manager for a public sector hospital. Since hospital departments were often intentionally kept shorthanded for budgetary reasons, having enough “fresh” applications on hand to ﬁll vacancies quickly was no small thing. “They know someone, tell someone, have a friend ﬁll out the application. We have a lot of people who have friends with applications already ﬁlled out; we have encouraged them to do that. If you can’t come every day, have someone keep a look-out for you. They will give in an application the day the notice is posted. Then the supervisor could get the person that day and hire that day.” As this example suggests, incumbents keep themselves busy—or are kept busy—ﬁnding placements for associates. “If he [a brother of an employee] is not working, they’ll approach us. Do you need a new polisher?” “We usually have a waiting list of friends from the existing employees,” explained a factory owner. “Most of the time we have people waiting to come to work.” A production manager told us that “there are always people looking for a job who know people here and would like to get a foot in the door.” 104 From Market to Work To be sure, securing the right supply of suitable applicants usually entails exertion on the part of management, but often not much more than that entailed in “getting out the word.” “I could have a thousand people here tomorrow,” exclaimed a factory owner; “we just post our jobs and they come rushing.” A touch of hyperbole, perhaps, but, if so, not greatly out of line with the views of many employers we visited. A printer told us: “We put the word out that we’re looking for an inspector. Believe me, it gets around in about thirty seconds, and the whole place knows about it. People go to the phones to call others about the opening. If we put the word out at 7, we’ll have applicants calling or showing up by 9, 10, or 11.” Networks efﬁciently activate the labor supply because employees, so managers claim, “always know someone who needs a job.” Reliance on referrals capitalizes on an existing set of connections to family and friends. “Everybody,” it seems, “always has a cousin, nephew, or brother who’s a good worker.” A mattress manufacturer contended that “they always have cousins that always need a job”; a fast fooder was more impressed that incumbents “always have friends who need jobs.” “Generally for the entry-level positions, we got a lot of younger guys, who need jobs,” a printer observed. “[They] say I got a friend who would like this job.” It seems unlikely that our respondents were versed in the social networks literature, but at times they sounded like intuitive network theorists. “You could have all the credentials of the world,” said the owner of a small custom upholstery shop, “but without networks you are nothing.” The employers often invoked a network concept to explain how they obtained labor. “It’s a network they have for letting each other know about jobs,” claimed a printer; a furniture manufacturer referred to “a whole network of acquaintances and relatives that people have that we draw on.” The personnel manager for a regional fast food chain explained that “in Southern California, you’ve got a network that’s very efﬁcient. If José is there, he knows a brother, Juan, who is ready.” Employers were quick to point to a basic network principle—homophily, the tendency of socially similar people to band together.7 “Friends of friends, friends of employees, word of mouth, it’s as if they’ve all worked together, they all, it’s a community type of thing, it’s a networking type of thing.” Similarity among persons within the same recruitment network meant that referrals were likely to originate from an appropriate applicant pool. “All these people know someone who has been working in the industry and, when they become aware that jobs are available, they will bring a brother, cousin, or neighbor in.” In this situ- Social Capital and Social Closure 105 ation, word of mouth ensures that information leaks out to the appropriate occupational community. The owner of a trendy Santa Monica restaurant explained that “everybody knows we are hiring, whether through other restaurants and out in the community, or through referrals from existing employees.” Managers appreciate network recruitment for its ability to attract applicants quickly and at little cost; they value it even more for its efﬁciency. Hiring through connections upgrades the quality of related information, reducing the risks entailed in acquiring new personnel. Owners and managers know more about the sponsoring worker than about any applicant; the operational principle, as one printer noted, is that “birds of a feather ﬂock together.” Field notes: Since they get people through referrals and many people have worked there a long time, so they know the employees, they ﬁgure the applicant will be a “carbon copy” of the employee referring them, anyway. Incumbents’ characteristics send a signal on which employers depend. Entry-level jobs are good for persons trying to get a start; but employers are well aware that the work involved is no picnic. “It’s a hard job,” explained a respondent in our hotel sample. For that reason, an incumbent housekeeper “is more likely to know some one who . . . can also handle it.” Believing that good employees produce good referrals, managers “pay attention to the person who is doing the referring,” and the “credibility of the person who is referring is looked at.” As one restaurant manager said, “If you have workers who are reliable, their friends are probably similar, same skills and metabolism.” Operating in a big-city environment where expectations, even experiences, of opportunism are the norm, the ability to draw predictive value from experience with a known entity counts for much. A retailer, noting that using referrals “saves me having to worry about whether or not the person is a good person or not,” elaborates: R: [T]here’s a lot of people out there that would just as soon get hired here, and trip and fall and ﬁle a worker’s comp claim, as to coming here and wanting to do a good job. There would just as soon be people that would want to come in here to have access to equipment so that they could steal it. I: Have you had a lot of experiences with both of those things, the disability and the theft? R: Uh huh [afﬁrmative]. Across the board. And that’s why we like to trust a little bit more about a person who is personally referred by an individual. . . . Sometimes it fails miserably, but the majority of the time it works. 106 From Market to Work But it is not simply probabilistic considerations that lead employers to consider a sponsor’s characteristics as reliable proxies for the traits of the worker referred. Even at the bottom of the labor market, job-seekers are a dime a dozen; “there is an abundance of people at any level in the street,” noted a printer. While the in-house workforce is rarely short on contacts hunting for a better job or larger paycheck, jobs, especially those providing some chance of upward mobility, are not nearly so plentiful. Job scarcity ensures that “people have a stake in the referral” and a “vested interest in seeing the person succeed,” considerations that provide motivation for self-policing. “Most employees don’t want to refer anyone they know is a goof-off,” explained a hotel personnel manager. “It reﬂects poorly on them.” A worker’s standing with the employer may not be all-important; as we shall show, the referral process involves a good deal of negotiating and exchange of power plays. Still, reputation seems unlikely to be of such trivial signiﬁcance as to be regularly squandered. After all, employers “pay attention to the person who is doing the referring,” responding one way when a “strong individual brings in a family member or neighbor,” but turning a blind eye to “referrals from questionable employees because they don’t really know the standards.” Employers are also apt to remind workers that hiring a friend or relative involves a quid pro quo: “I tell my employees, if you are going to refer someone, that person better be a good worker. Because the way they work is going to affect you. You will look bad if your referral does not perform adequately.” The prevalence of favor trading—as in the case of a printer who hired his pressman’s son as a way of bringing the young man into the trade— gave sponsors good reason to “fear they’ll jeopardize their standing with a bad referral.” Beyond concern over antagonizing the boss, sponsors also had to manage their relationship with co-workers: “The people we have here, many have been here a long time, they wouldn’t bring in someone who would ﬂake. They’re worried about me and what the coworkers would think. They don’t want trouble.” For all these reasons, employers assumed that “the existing employee is not gonna bring in a schmuck.” Sponsors functioned as a “screening device,” relied on to ﬁlter information between the organization and the labor supply, and taking care to recommend only applicants likely to work out. Employers are concerned also about the quality of information traveling from the organization to the applicant; conveniently, connections Social Capital and Social Closure 107 between incumbents and applicants improve these ﬂows as well. Incumbents know “what our criteria are about,” “know what the store is really like,” understand “how a retail organization runs.” Consequently, contact with the established workforce generates realistic expectations and knowledge about the responsibilities of the job. As a restaurant manager put it, “The pluses are that the people referred know what is expected from them, because they have been told what the job involves by the existing employees.” Thus network hiring uses community to structure information ﬂow, thereby yielding another advantage: pre-existing relationships originating outside the workplace continue to inﬂuence behavior after the hiring decision. For example, a hotel manager told us: “I have also found that because we hire referrals, most of the employees come from one area of El Salvador, they know each other from back there. It’s a very cohesive environment, a small-town atmosphere. In a big city, but they know each other, have a high degree of ethics and morality that you get in a small town. It’s another advantage of hiring referrals in a city like LA.” Sponsoring also entails subsequent obligations, with incumbents expected to monitor performance (“look[ing] after the friend or relative”) and apply discipline if necessary (“push them when they need to be pushed”). Reputational considerations, as noted earlier, control the quality of information ﬂowing from sponsor to employer—and generate an incentive to ensure control after a referral has been hired. A retailer tol
Explanation & Answer length: 2 pages
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