Lijun Song - Jensen Series

Friday, October 20, 2017 - 1:15pm

Dr. Lijun Song

Lijun song , Assistant Professor in Vanderbilt's Department of Sociology will give a talk on Friday Oct. 20. entitled: "Network Members’ Status, Tie Strength, and Depression:  Evidence from the United States and Urban China."


How does network members’ (alters’) status interplay with tie strength to affect health across culture? Using nationally representative data simultaneously collected from the United States and urban China, this study examines seven hypotheses respectively derived from seven theoretical approaches. Social capital theory and upward comparative reference group theory expect alters’ status respectively to protect and harm health. The strength of strong ties argument predicts stronger ties to be more protective of health. Two tie strength-based arguments—strong-tie-as-social-support-source and strong-tie-as-social-comparison-source—respectively state that social capital theory and upward comparative reference group theory have stronger explanatory power than each other with the increase of tie strength. Among two cultural explanations, the relational dependence explanation predicts that social capital theory, the strength of strong ties argument, and the strong-tie-as-social-support-source argument to have stronger explanatory power but upward comparative reference group theory and strong-tie-as-social-comparison-source to have weaker explanatory power in urban China than the United States. But the self- evaluation motive explanation has the opposite prediction. This study measures one major indicator of mental health, depression, and four indicators of alters’ status on the occupational dimension. Results and implications are discussed.

329 Soc\Psych (McKinney Conf. Room)


Dr. Stephen Vaisey