In sociology, an ethnic enclave is a geographic area with high ethnic concentration, characteristic cultural identity, and economic activity. The term is usually used to refer to either a residential area or a workspace with a high concentration of ethnic firms. Their success and growth depends on self-sufficiency, and is coupled with economic prosperity. The theory of social capital and the formation of migrant networks creates the social foundation for ethnic enclaves. Douglas Massey describes how migrant networks provide new immigrants with social capital that can be transferred to other tangible forms. As immigrants tend to cluster in close geographic spaces, they develop migrant networks—systems of interpersonal relations through which participants can exchange valuable resources and knowledge. Immigrants can capitalize on social interactions by transforming information into tangible resources, and thereby lower costs of migration. Information exchanged may include knowledge of employment opportunities, affordable housing, government assistance programs and helpful NGOs. Thus by stimulating social connections, ethnic enclaves generate a pool of intangible resources that help to promote the social and economic development of its members.By providing a space for co-ethnics to create potentially beneficial relations, ethnic enclaves assist members in achieving economic mobility. Enclaves create an alternative labor market that is ethnic-specific and does not demand social and cultural skills of the host country. By eliminating language and cultural barriers, enclave economies employ a greater proportion of co-ethnics and speed the incorporation of new immigrants into a bustling economy. By increasing employment opportunities and facilitating upward mobility, studying ethnic enclaves helps to explain the success of some immigrant groups. Additionally, while the ethnic enclave theory was developed to explain immigrant incorporation into the receiving society, it has also been linked to migration processes at large as successful incorporation of immigrants has the potential to lower migration costs for future immigrants, an example of chain migration.Despite their immediate benefits, the long-term implications of participation in an ethnic enclave are a topic of debate. Enclave economies have been linked to a glass ceiling limiting immigrant growth and upward mobility. While participation in the enclave economy may assist in achieving upward mobility through increased availability of employment opportunities in the enclave labor market, it may also impede acquisition of host country skills that benefit the immigrant over the long-run. Latency in learning the language and social norms of the receiving country constrains immigrants to activity within the enclave and secludes them from the larger receiving context. Opportunities available to mainstream society can thus be out of reach for immigrants who lack both the knowledge of these services and the ability to access them. Thus, the accelerated path toward economic mobility that lures new immigrants into enclave economies pose a challenge to potential success. Integration into an ethnic enclave may delay and even halt assimilation to the host society, preventing the immigrants from benefiting from mainstream institutions.