Institute of Social Development and Policy Research
The main purpose of this article is to investigate the relationship between (objective) network structures of individual immigrants and their (subjective) expectations regarding access to social capital. Based on a government-funded original dataset collected on ethnic Koreans living in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, this study probes into how the way in which an individual (i.e., ego) is tied with his or her close social contacts (i.e., alters) is associated with perceived social support from them. In highlighting this causal linkage, two network concepts are explored as possible mechanisms: closure (Coleman 1988) and brokerage (Burt 1992). The findings from empirical analyses lend support for the brokerage argument. Ceteris paribus, immigrants whose egocentric networks are characterized by openness and disconnectedness (i.e., filled with more 'structural holes' or nonredundant contacts) are more likely to believe that they can receive assistance from their close friends and relatives in times of need.