Stanton-Salazar, R. D., & Dornbusch, S. M. (1995). Social capital and the reproduction of inequality: Information networks among Mexican-origin high school students. Sociology of education, 116-135.

The critical role of significant others in status attainment continues to be interpreted mainly in functionalist terms. This article presents an alternative interpretation based on social reproduction theories and on current research on social ties and adult occupational mobility. Using the concept of social capital, defined as social relationships from which an individual is potentially able to derive various types of institutional resources and support, the authors examine data on the information networks of a selected sample of Mexican-origin high school students. Apart from the influence of parental socioeconomic status, they assess how students’ grades and educational and occupational expectations are related to the formation of instrumental ties to institutional agents (such as teachers and guidance counselors). Although the authors found some evidence for the relation between grades and status expectations and measures of social capital, their strongest associations were with language measures, suggesting that bilinguals may have special advantages in acquiring the institutional support necessary for school success and social mobility.

Link to article