Campus connections for creative careers: Social capital, gender inequality, and artistic work

Nathan D. Martin, Alexandre Frenette, Gillian Gualtieri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


In this study, we examine how social capital developed during the college years is connected to subsequent career outcomes for arts alumni. We analyzed data from the Strategic National Arts Alumni Project (SNAAP), an online retrospective survey of alumni from arts-related majors or degree programs (N = 25,460 arts alumni from 132 postsecondary institutions in the United States). Results from mixed-effects regression show that college social capital is associated with shorter and more successful first job searches post-graduation, as well as a greater likelihood of maintaining active careers in the arts and working in positions that allow alumni to apply their college arts training. However, we find significant disparities between men and women in terms of access to social capital and the impacts of social capital. Although women comprise a majority of graduates of postsecondary arts programs, women report fewer and less influential connections to college social networks. Furthermore, gender significantly moderates the relationship between social capital and job outcomes, with high levels of social capital being more strongly linked to career advantages for men than for women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101763
StatePublished - Feb 2023


  • Artists
  • College networks
  • Creative careers
  • Inequality
  • Job search
  • Social capital

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Communication
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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