Fickle families and the kindness of strangers: Social capital in the lives of low-income single mothers

Hawkins, R. L.
Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, 20(1), 38–55.

This article is a qualitative study that examines the social capital in the lives of 20 formerly homeless and nearly homeless single mothers with children in their care. The findings for this study indicate that the mothers' close social ties simultaneously served as a resource and a hindrance to their progress into sustainable work or education. Findings also show that nearly all of the women in this study benefited from “weak” ties by receiving information or other kinds of resources from strangers or friends of friends. Implications for policy and practice are also discussed.

Wagner Faculty