Embeddedness and immigration: notes on the social determinants of economic action

A. Portes, J. Sensenbrenner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2066 Scopus citations


This article contributes to the reemerging field of economic sociology by delving into its classic roots to refine current concepts and using examples from the immigration literature to explore the different forms in which social structures affect economic action. The concept of social "embeddedness' provides a suitable theoretical umbrella, although in analyzing its specific manifestations the article focuses on the concept of social capital. The various mechanisms through which social structures affect economic action are identified and categorized and their consequences, positive and negative, highlighted. The propositions that summarize the different parts of the discussion attempt to move these concepts beyond sensitizing generalities to hypothesis-like statements that can guide future research. -Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1320-1350
Number of pages31
JournalAmerican Journal of Sociology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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