How is the benefit of mixed social networks altered by neighbourhood deprivation for ethnic groups?

Publication type

Journal Article

Published in

Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies


Simon Peters, Nissa Finney and Dharmi Kapadia

Publication date


Previous research has shown that people who are in poverty live in deprived neighbourhoods. Ethnic minority groups are more likely than the White majority to be poor and live in such areas. The likelihood of being poor may be reduced by having access to mixed social networks. But, for those living in deprived neighbourhoods there may be neither opportunities nor resources to form and maintain social networks that are mixed in terms of their ethnic or geographic composition. This paper tests this contention, for ethnic groups in the UK. Specifically, we use the UK’s largest household survey to examine the relationship between deprivation and mixing by investigating the following research questions: (1) Does neighbourhood deprivation alter the influence of mixed social network on poverty status? and (2) Is the influence of neighbourhood deprivation and social networks on poverty status equivalent for all ethnic minority groups? Our results suggest that high neighbourhood deprivation tends to over-ride the positive associations of geographically mixed social networks. Moreover, while this result is strong for the White British majority, there is only weak evidence that it holds for ethnic minority groups. This may imply that resource constraints restrict social network benefits, particularly for ethnic minorities.





Social Groups, Area Effects, Social Networks, Geography, Poverty, Income Dynamics, Ethnic Groups, Well Being and Social Capital


Open Access; © 2018 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group; This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.; Online Early