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Better a hundred friends than a hundred rubles?

social networks in transition--the Kyrgyz Republic


"This study of social networks in a post-socialist county is an important tool for bridging the policy gap between macro level economic strategies and micro-level interventions. The findings illustrate the notable impact of poverty on the form and function of informal social networks of the poor and non-poor in the Kyrgyz Republic. The polarization of social networks reflects the increasing socioeconomic stratification of the population. This paper notes that the size of networks and frequency of social encounters have significantly decreased among the poor, leading to greater economic, geographic, and social isolation. Simultaneously, the non-poor have become more reluctant to provide support to poor relatives. Money has become central to maintaining informal social networks, making it more difficult for the poor to remain part of them."--Jacket.