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The power of networks or networks of power? In-migrant networks and the rural economy

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Paul CowieORCiD


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This paper, utilising Bourdieu’s concepts of habitus and cultural capital, explores and seeks to explain some of the differences in business performance exhibited by in-migrant and locally-owned businesses in rural England. In doing so this paper considers the importance both of understanding the different types of networks in-migrants and locally-owned businesses become involved with, and how different network types can impact on business success. To date much of the analysis of networks has been of a quantitative nature. This paper investigates the qualitative differences between networks and proposes a theory as to why in-migrants appear to derive greater benefit from business networks. Finally this paper will argue that at the heart of this difference is the differing habitus and cultural capital possessed by in-migrants and business owners. This in turn affects the business owners’ ability to convert their cultural capital into economic capital in an ever changing rural society.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Cowie P

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: 16th Nordic Conference on Small Business Research

Year of Conference: 2010