What Is the Social Resources Theory?


Vincent White

The Social Resources Theory is a concept that is used to explain how people develop their abilities, knowledge, and skills through their relationships with others. This theory suggests that the social environment in which a person grows up plays a crucial role in shaping their personality and behavior. In this article, we will explore the Social Resources Theory in detail.

What is the Social Resources Theory?

The Social Resources Theory was introduced by James S. Coleman in 1988. According to this theory, social resources can be defined as the resources that are available to individuals through their social networks, such as family members, friends, and colleagues. These resources can include emotional support, information, advice, and tangible resources such as money or job opportunities.

How does it work?

The Social Resources Theory suggests that these social resources have an impact on the development of an individual’s abilities and skills. For example, if an individual has access to a network of professionals in their field of work through their social connections, they may be able to learn about new job opportunities or gain valuable insights into industry trends.

The role of family

Family plays a significant role in providing social resources to individuals. Parents provide emotional support and guidance to children as they develop. They also help children build social networks by introducing them to other family members and friends.

The importance of peer groups

Peer groups also play an important role in providing social resources to individuals. Through peer groups, individuals can learn new skills and behaviors from others who share similar interests or backgrounds.


In conclusion, the Social Resources Theory emphasizes the importance of social connections in shaping individuals’ abilities and behaviors. It suggests that individuals who have access to a diverse range of social resources are more likely to succeed in life than those who do not. By understanding this theory, we can work to build stronger social networks and support systems that can help us achieve our goals and aspirations.