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Title: Leveraging symbolic capital: The Use of 'blat' networks across transnational spaces
Authors: Rodgers, P. W.
Vershinina, N.
Williams, C. C.
Theodorakopoulos, N.
First Published: 16-Jan-2018
Publisher: Wiley for Global Networks Partnership
Citation: Global Networks, 2018
Abstract: This article contributes to debates on how social networks sustain migrants’ entrepreneurial activities. Reporting on thirty-one interviews with Eastern European migrants in the UK, this article provides a critical lens on the tendency to assume that migrants have ready-made social networks within the host country embedded within co-ethnic communities. We extend this limited perspective by demonstrating how ‘blat’ social networks, which were formulated within the cultural and political contours of Soviet society are being transformed within the everyday lived experiences of Eastern European migrants working in the UK. Our findings highlight not only the monetarization of such networks but also the continuing embedded nature of trust existing within these networks, which cut across transnational spaces. We show how forms of social capital based around Russian language use and legacies of a shared Soviet past, are just as important as the role of ‘co-ethnics’ and ‘co-migrants’ in facilitating business development. In doing so, we present a more nuanced understanding of the role that symbolic capital plays in migrant entrepreneurial journeys and its multifaceted nature.
DOI Link: 10.1111/glob.12188
ISSN: 1470-2266
eISSN: 1471-0374
Version: Publisher Version
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © the authors, 2018. 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 author and source are credited.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, School of Management

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