Africa Villanueva-Felez, Rodrigo Martínez-Novo, Richard Woolley
In this study, we investigate the academic field of nanotechnology to analyze the relation between hierarchical positions occupied by researchers and the type of social ties and resource exchanges that they have with external partners. To do this, we use a multidisciplinary perspective of scientific collaborations, which combines the approach of networking and resource sharing (Granovetter, 1973, Lin 2001) with a sociological approach to power relations (Bourdieu 1997). We conclude, following the intuition of Nan Lin (2001), that the hierarchical positions of researchers are crucial to the way they access resources. Occupying an elevated position is equivalent to exchange resources safely and steadily. This means always being able to receive at least what you give, thus reproducing, and being reproduced by, a field of academic power relations that endures over time.