Beate Volker

Beate Volker
Utrecht University | UU · Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning

PhD

About

191
Publications
30,254
Reads
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3,049
Citations
Additional affiliations
January 2007 - January 2015
Utrecht University
Position
  • Professor

Publications

Publications (191)
Article
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In this paper, we examine whether social class and class divides in social networks contribute to individuals' attachment to society. We argue that network segregation restricts individuals' social worlds, thereby diminishing societal attachment. Our research site is Chile, a country with relatively low social cohesion and one of the world's highes...
Article
Plastic pollution through small particles, so-called microplastics, is acknowledged as an environmental problem of global dimension by both politicians, and the public. An increasing number of environmental studies investigate the exposure and effects of microplastics. Although there are many open questions, current scientific evidence does not con...
Article
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We examine the extent to which income inequality is associated with materialistic values and behavior in Europe and the United States (US). In the US, existing research on materialistic behavior is largely focused on the study of shopping behavior and shows that, when income inequality is higher, individuals search for and buy products that are mor...
Article
Social capital, embedded in people’s relationships, is important for practically all domains of life. Individuals need others to safeguard and enhance their living conditions. A study now shows that social capital helps in the recovery from a natural disaster.
Chapter
Social networks are ubiquitous. The science of networks has shaped how researchers and society understand the spread of disease, the precursors of loneliness, the rise of protest movements, the causes of social inequality, the influence of social media, and much more. Egocentric analysis conceives of each individual, or ego, as embedded in a person...
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In this study, we examine whether the spatial structure produces differences in access to social capital and the status homogeneity of networks in Santiago, the capital of Chile—a highly segregated city. We hypothesize that residents of different areas, especially those living in spatial contexts of poverty and wealth, differ considerably in terms...
Article
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This paper on the application of network theory and analysis in Human Geography argues that networks should get a much more prominent role than they currently have and that they have matured to a lingua franca in (social) science. While reflecting upon explanations for the scarce use of network knowledge, I describe three surprising observations th...
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Previous research provides a detailed picture of class differences in political attitudes. Less is however known about the social structures that enforce this political divide across social classes. This article contributes towards filling this gap by considering how the class profile of personal social networks influences political attitudes. We p...
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Previous research finds that individuals tend to form ties with similar others much more often than with dissimilar others. However, we know relatively little about tie loss and to what extent this is driven by (dis)similarity. In this paper, we argue that ties to persons who are dissimilar with regard to gender, age, ethnicity, and education are l...
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The finding that men are disproportionately represented in positions of workplace authority to an extent that cannot be explained by human capital attributes and location within the structure of the economy is well documented. Arguing that different authority positions are differentially gendered, this article tests a more refined hypothesis: that...
Article
This paper studies how social capital is divided across classes in Chile, one of the most unequal countries in the world. We analyse the extent to which upper-, middle-, and lower class individuals congregate in social networks with similar others, while following Bourdieu and expecting that in particular the networks of the higher social strata ar...
Article
We study whether and when a second-order collective action problem, like the change of existing formal rules governing cooperation, can be resolved to ultimately solve first-order collective good dilemmas. We do so by examining the conditions under which individuals change cooperation rules when both their material incentives to cooperate and their...
Article
Popular accounts in both social science and society claim that unemployment goes together with social withdrawal. However, empirical support for this conclusion is largely derived from cross-sectional studies or indirect measurements of social contacts. In this study, we argue that consequences of unemployment for personal networks differ across so...
Chapter
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The idea of collective efficacy - the degree to which residents engage in collective good production and protection - has been established as key for the understanding why neighborhoods sometimes fail in establishing social and physical order. Theoretically, a basic assumption is that collective efficacy rests in the close association between infor...
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This study examines changes in individual social capital during adult life within a 19-year period. Social capital theory and life course theory are combined, and it is argued that changes in social networks do not necessarily go together with changes in social capital: while personal networks are known to decline in size with age, social capital c...
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How did the economic crisis impact social capital in European societies? The empirical studies conducted so far provide contradictory conclusions about the strength and direction of its influence. We argue that to better understand the effects of the economic crisis on social capital (social trust, formal and informal networks) it is crucial to exa...
Article
We study whether patterns of segregation and homogeneity in personal networks in the Netherlands are comparable to the network structures of characters in modern Dutch literature and examine the degree to which social divides in terms of sex, education, ethnicity, and age are reflected in literary novels. A representative sample of people living in...
Article
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We examine the level of overlap between offenders’ criminal networks (i.e., those with whom they discuss criminal activities and exchange criminal knowledge and skills) and offenders’ core discussion networks (i.e., those with whom they discuss important personal matters). We formulate four hypotheses based on social capital and focus theory. Empir...
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In this article, we explore how neighborhood composition and individual choice relate to the network composition of different social groups. We predict that groups that engage more with the neighborhood and those who control more resources have networks that are more homogenous than expected given the neighborhood composition. We also explore how 2...
Chapter
Marsdens Research Note markiert den Beginn einer bis heute anhaltenden Tradition der Netzwerkforschung: die Erhebung egozentrierter Netzwerke in Bevölkerungsstichproben. Der Artikel beschreibt die Ergebnisse des hier erstmals verwendeten Instruments zur Messung von Netzwerken in Bevölkerungsstichproben. Schon früher hatten Sozialwissenschaftler Int...
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While previous research has shown that personality shapes social networks, we know very little about the relationship between these important psychological characteristics and the creation of social capital. In this article, we argue that personality shapes individuals’ ability to create social capital, and we predict positive associations between...
Data
Supplementary_Materials_August_21st – Supplemental material for Personality and Social Capital
Article
Background: Both social and physical neighbourhood factors may affect residents' health, but few studies have considered the combination of several exposures in relation to individual health status. Aim: To assess a range of different potentially relevant physical and social environmental characteristics in a sample of small neighbourhoods in the N...
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In 1957, Elizabeth Bott argued that the organization of family and social networks are intertwined and that the structure and composition of social networks are associated with the ways in which spouses divide household and paid labor. While this idea became a classic in the literature addressing the division of labor, societies have changed tremen...
Article
This study explored to what extent the composition and structure of personal networks of personality-disordered forensic psychiatric patients changed before and after forced confinement in a forensic psychiatric centre. Semi-structured in-depth interviews with 36 patients and selected members of their networks were examined. During forensic psychia...
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The aim of our study was to investigate the association between health enhancing and threatening, and social and physical aspects of the neighbourhood environment and general practitioner (GP) assessed morbidity of the people living there, in order to find out whether the effects of environmental characteristics add up or modify each other. We comb...
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The influential "broken windows" theory proposes that disorder cues in neighborhoods trigger littering and other antisocial behavior. Until now, the theory has been empirically tested only on a small scale and restricted to just one specific area. In this study, I investigated the effect of disorder cues on individual behavior once more, replicatin...
Chapter
It is widely acknowledged that woman’s networks and their social capital considerably differ from men’s. Given that social capital is an important resource for getting ahead in society it is important to understand these differences. Do women and men create different forms of social capital and are there differences in the benefits of social capita...
Article
This study examines the social networks of detainees before and after their incarceration. We use unique panel data on 702 detainees and their core discussion networks. Our results show that while the size of the core discussion network remains stable, detainees have replaced more than 60% of their network members after incarceration. By far not al...
Article
A recent PNAS article (1) argues that success rates for attaining research grants are gender-biased. However, the overall gender effect borders on statistical significance, despite the large sample. Moreover, their conclusion could be a prime example of Simpson’s paradox (2, 3); if a higher percentage of women apply for grants in more competitive s...
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Social resource theory has been challenged, as the effects of contact resources on job outcomes may be spurious given the presence of homophily. We review the Mouw–Lin debate and propose that occupational homophily moderates the role of contact resources in the labor market and that effects of resources depend on labor market institutions. We analy...
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According to the income inequality hypothesis, income inequality is associated with poorer health. One important proposed mechanism for this effect is reduced trust. In this study, we argue that income inequality during a person's formative years (i.e., around age 16) may have lasting consequences for trust and health. Multilevel analyses of data f...
Article
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A lack of collective efficacy in neighborhoods is associated with social and physical disorder and related anti-social actions. It is less clear, however, whether collective efficacy in neighborhoods also enhances prosocial, other-regarding behavior. We studied this association by employing the Lost Letter Technique in a large-scale field experimen...
Article
Social capital theory predicts a reproduction of inequality due to access and use of social capital. In this contribution, we study the distribution of social capital and its consequences for social inequality in the Netherlands. To this end, we assess the extent to which social capital is dependent on the individual’s education, socioeconomic back...
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Whereas much research has been done on the benefits of social capital, less is known about the causes of the unequal distribution of social capital in people’s networks. This study examines inequalities in access to social capital in terms of the socio-economic resources that are embedded in personal networks. Using data from NELLS, a nationally re...
Article
Although the average number of confidants and practical helpers in Dutch networks only slightly changes over seven years, we found considerable changes among these relationships over these years. To explain the stability of existing relationships as well as the emergence of new ones, we paid attention to meeting opportunities in specific social con...
Article
Households and personal networks We investigate the association between household arrangements and social network characteristics by using three structural perspectives: social context, time demands, and social support. Evidence from the Survey on the Social Networks of the Dutch 2007/2008 (SSND; N = 950) best supports the social support and time d...
Article
We examined the influence of both individual and neighbourhood social capital on individual health and analysed whether effects of one type of social capital are contingent upon the other. The Dutch ‘Housing and Living Survey’ (WoON 2006, n = 53,269) was used and combined with information on neighbourhoods (n = 3,273). Using an ecometric approach t...
Article
Social capital is generally considered beneficial for students’ school adjustment. This paper argues that social relationships among pupils generate social capital at both the individual and the class levels, and that each has its unique effect on pupils’ performance and well-being. The sample in this study consists of 1036 children in 60 first-gra...
Article
This study examines inmates' core discussion network prior to their incarceration. The core discussion network consists of the immediate social circle of relatively strong ties. The aims of the study are twofold: (1) to describe inmates' core discussion network prior to their incarceration in terms of network structure, relationship quality and emb...
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With research on social relations hitherto, it is not clear how negative relationships between neighbours emerge. In this study therefore, arguments are developed on the conditions within neighbourhoods and on individual characteristics, that facilitate negative relations amongst neighbours. The arguments are divided according to three perspectives...
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Networked learning is currently gaining more attention in the study of digital learning. Little attention has been paid to informal networks outside educational institutes. The current study contributes to this knowledge gap by researching the personal online networks of both immigrant and native youth in the Netherlands while focusing on how youth...
Article
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In this contribution we start from the emerging consensus on the widely disputed phenomenon of social capital. We propose to focus on structural aspects of social capital: formal (contacts within formal organizations) and informal (contacts outside of formal organizations). First, we address methodological questions on the cross-national equivalenc...
Article
There has hardly been any examination of the personal social networks of personality disordered forensic psychiatric patients leading up to, and at the time of their offence. To shed light on this question, 36 male inpatients were interviewed by forensic social workers about their social contacts in the period in which they committed their crime. N...
Article
People with whom we discuss important personal matters – i.e. the core discussion network – are important for providing help and support as well as influencing behaviour. This is the first study that describes and compares the core discussion network of prisoners prior to incarceration with that of the Dutch population. Differences in their network...
Chapter
This chapter reports findings from research in the Netherlands that links the change in neighbourhood social capital between 2002 and 2006 with resident's moving intentions and their actual mobility outcomes. The underlying hypothesis is that those who live in a neighbourhood with high levels of macro level social capital are better off than others...
Article
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Background: Several studies have shown the positive effect of neighbourhood social capital on health. Existing research, however, has hitherto not studied whether the duration and intensity of exposure to neighbourhood social capital conditions and its effect on health. The aim of this study was to examine whether neighbourhood social capital affe...
Article
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While businesses may attract potential offenders and thus be conducive to disorder, the number of employees could offset this by exercising social control on offenders. This study uses data from different sources to test this expectation across 278 Dutch neighborhoods in the four largest cities of the Netherlands, using multivariate multilevel anal...
Article
The residential neighbourhood has become more important as a business environment as a result of economic and societal developments. However, some neighbourhoods are characterised by relatively high out‐migration of firms; disadvantaged neighbourhoods in particular. This suggests that there may be factors at the neighbourhood level that steer reloc...
Article
Full-text available
Although various studies have found a positive association between neighborhood social capital and individual health, the mechanism explaining this direct effect is still unclear. Neighborhood social capital is the access to resources that are generated by relationships between people in a friendly, well-connected and tightly knit neighborhood comm...
Data
Model 5 of Table 3 with control variables.
Article
This paper inquires into structural explanations for triadic closure in networks of confidants with whom one discusses important personal matters. Building upon the assumption that meeting opportunities affect network characteristics, we primarily argue that the social contexts in which network members meet, substantially affect triadic closure. Th...
Article
In sociology, it is suggested that grand changes in the structure of Western societies in the 19th and 20th centuries led to a decrease in the overlap among social contexts. This implies that people meet the members of their network in many different social contexts. This study inquires into this overlap between social contexts. In particular, we s...
Article
Neighborhood social capital is increasingly considered to be an important determinant of an individual's health. Using data from the Netherlands we investigate the influence of neighborhood social capital on an individual's self-reported health, while accounting for other conditions of health on both the level of the neighborhood and the individual...
Article
This article aims to explain variations in the participation of civic organizations in neighborhood projects. In particular, we inquire into the impact of the social networks of more than 400 local civic organizations on their participation in neighborhood projects in two Dutch cities. Two strands of literature constitute the basis for our argument...
Article
Background: We test two different perspectives on social capital and its association with health; a macro perspective focusing on resources on the neighbourhood level, and a micro perspective focusing on the individual level personal network. So far, most researchers inquired into these perspectives separately, and studies combining and testing bot...
Article
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Social network factors are usually not accounted for in the clinical practice of risk assessment/management.This article introduces a social network analysis as an instrument to systematically chart the relationships and personal networks of forensic psychiatric patients. During the period 2005 to 2007, the so-called Forensic Social Network Analysi...
Article
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The major aim of the treatment of forensic psychiatric patients is to reduce risk of future violence by means of a positive change in the factors associated with the offence. In this article, we argue that information on patients' social network patterns and the content of their relationships provide detailed information about relational behavior t...
Article
Social capital is valuable for entrepreneurs starting a business. Although many small businesses are located at the entrepreneurs' dwelling, little is known about entrepreneurs' local ties and their relevance for firm success. Distinguishing between local and non-local social capital, this contribution looks at the following: (1) The availability o...
Article
This article aims to explain variations in the participation of civic organizations in neighborhood projects. In particular, we inquire into the impact of the social networks of more than 400 local civic organizations on their participation in neighborhood projects in two Dutch cities. Two strands of literature constitute the basis for our argument...
Chapter
City in Sight presents recent scholarship on the various issues facing today's Dutch metropolitan areas, including immigration and the growing diversity among the urban population, urban restructuring and neighborhood renewal, shifts in urban governance, and the promotion of active citizenship. With its wealth of information and up-to-date research...
Article
In the current sociological and geographical literature, contrasting views exist on the role of the neighbourhood and neighbourhood relationships in the life of its residents in current societies. Some scholars believe that in our globalising world, local communities and the neighbourhood in general lost their significance, while others argue that...
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Much research in neighbour relations is inspired by two research questions. First, it is necessary to know to which degree social contacts are local and in particular whether local social contacts in disadvantaged neighbourhoods bear an instrumental disadvantage. Second, it is necessary to know whether policies aiming at mixing people from differen...
Article
Under what conditions does one find a new home via one's social network? Does the way in which a house is acquired affect how satisfied one is with the house? We formulate hypotheses on the characteristics of personal networks, the context of the move and their effect on those who attain a house through informal channels and how satisfied they are...