Sandra Susan Smith

University of California, Berkeley

Research Initiative:

Sandra Smith, assistant professor of sociology at New York University, will study the efficacy of low-income African-Americans' job referral networks. It is often argued that as a result of structural and demographic changes there has been an overall decline in the sheer number of people to which the urban poor are connected. Recent evidence suggests that the extent of the poor's detachment from the mainstream has been overestimated. In addition, one's connection to well placed others does not guarantee resources; what promotes the transmission of valued resources are obligations, expectations, and trustworthiness. Smith will advance the social capital and urban poverty literature by addressing these gaps. Her project will elucidate how and why poor urban blacks have been unable to mobilize resources by virtue of their connection to well placed others.


RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences is a peer-reviewed, open-access journal of original empirical research articles by both established and emerging scholars.


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