Sociology Index

Social Capital

The term social capital is now common among political and academic elites. But the term social capital is unfamiliar to the general public.

Social capital is ‘trust, norms and networks’ that facilitate cooperation for mutual benefit - Putnam.

Social capital is an analogous term to human capital, which was itself created by analogy to the term physical capital - Michael B. Spring.

"The function identified by the concept of ‘social capital’ is the value of aspects of social structure to actors as resources that they can use to achieve their interests" - Coleman. Coleman defines social capital, not by what it is, but by what it does.

"Capital can present itself in three fundamental guises: as economic capital, which is immediately convertible into money and may be institutionalised in the form of property rights; as cultural capital, which is convertible, on certain conditions, into economic capital and may be institutionalised in the form of educational qualifications; and as social capital, made up of social obligations (‘connections’), which is convertible, in certain conditions, into economic capital and may be institutionalised in the form of a title of nobility." - Bourdieu.

Social Capital Abstracts

Measuring social capital: Towards a theoretically informed measurement framework for researching social capital in family and community life. by Wendy Stone. Research paper no.24, Australian Institute of Family Studies.
To inform the Institute's Families, Social Capital and Citizenship project, this paper contributes to the development of clear links between theorised and empirical understandings of social capital by: establishing a theoretically informed measurement framework for empirical investigation of social capital; and reviewing existing measures of social capital in light of this framework. The paper concludes with a statement of guiding principles for the measurement and empirical investigation of social capital in family and community life.

Community formation and social capital in Australia , Dimitria Giorgas. This paper explores ethnic community formation and social capital among six groups: Germans, Dutch, Hungarians, Poles, Italians and Greeks. It argues that social capital within the family is particularly important in overcoming deficiencies in other forms of capital; although it can only be successfully utilised when close relations exist between parents and children. Thus cultures that place greater emphasis on the family and are collectivist in nature, such as Greeks and Italians, are more likely to utilise social capital. In contrast cultures that have an individualistic focus, for example, Germans and Hungarians, are more likely to under-invest in social capital.

Social Capital: Reviewing the Concept and its Policy Implications
Productivity Commission Research Paper released on 25 July 2003, 100pp. Contents include The conceptual literature on social capital; The empirical evidence on social capital; Social capital and policy analysis; Some policy ideas aimed at enhancing social capital.

Towards and theorised understanding of family life and social capital, Ian Winter. Families are typically thought of as the wellspring of civil society and an important source of social capital. The aim of this Working Paper is to bring the relationship between families and social capital under some scrutiny. The paper defines the concept of social capital and reviews the literature on social capital within and beyond family networks.

Social Capital: The missing link, Christian Grootaert (World Bank). SCI Working Paper No. 3, April 1998. It has now become recognized that the "traditional" types of capital (natural, physical and human) determine only partially the process of economic growth because they overlook the way in which the economic actors interact and organize themselves to generate growth and development. The missing link is social capital.

Measuring social capital towards a theoretically informed measurement framework for researching social capital in family and community life, Wendy Stone. Is is available as a PDF version. This publication provides a review of measurement tools and a theoretical framework for future social capital research.

Social Capital as Credit - Social capital, or aggregate reputation, is a form of credit. Some formal transactions can be supported by social capital. Informal transactions are rarely underpinned by financial credit or legal agreement and instead rely entirely on social capital. We all have our internal calculators keeping tacit track of who is doing wrong and who is doing right, the health of the relationships and adjusting our actuarial tables according to experience.

Books On Social Capital

Healthy Ties
Social Capital, Population Health and Survival
Hyyppä, Markku T.
Prospective empirical data, based on nationwide population health surveys.
Cultural, rather than regional, inequalities in social capital and health.
Includes data on an exceptionally healthy community that is rich in social capital.
Carefully examines effects of social capital on public health.
Assesses the significance of cultural traditions for social capital and health.
Social capital is a widely acknowledged candidate for implementing beneficial democratic processes and promoting public health. Healthy ties. Social capital, population health and survival traces the path from the conceptualization to the implementation of social capital. To provide empirical evidence proof of the effects of social capital on public health is a serious challenge and the main focus of the book. In the Nordic countries, personal identification codes linking data from various sources, nation-wide population registers, nationally representative and re-tested health surveys, and the long tradition of epidemiology submit to serve well the research into social capital and public health. Up-to-date longitudinal data on social capital and health outcomes are carefully described and reviewed in this book. Social capital, population health and survival should inspire scholars, researchers, teachers and advanced students in social epidemiology and public health, and lead to new interventions in promoting health.

Gender And Social Capital (Gender Politics--Global Issues) by Brenda O'Neill, Elisabeth Gidengill, Elisabeth Gidengil (Editors)

Social Capital: Critical Perspectives by Stephen Baron, John Field, Tom Schuller

Achieving Success Through Social Capital: Tapping Hidden Resources in Your Personal and Business Networks Wayne E. Baker

Social Capital : A Theory of Social Structure and Action (Structural Analysis in the Social Sciences) by Nan Lin, Mark Granovetter

Knowledge and Social Capital: Foundations and Applications by Eric Lesser

Democracies in Flux: The Evolution of Social Capital in Contemporary Society by Robert D. Putnam (Editor)

Social Capital and Information Technology by Marleen Huysman, Volker Wulf (Editors)

Social Capital Versus Social Theory: Political Economy and Social Science at the Turn of the Millenium by Ben Fine

Creation and Returns of Social Capital: A New Research Program Henk Flap, Beate Volker (Editor)

Social Capital and Democratic Transition (Routledge Studies of Societies in Transition) by Gabriel Badescu, Eric M. Uslaner

Conflict, Social Capital And Managing Natural Resources: A West African Case Study   Keith M. Moore (Editor)

Religion As Social Capital: Producing the Common Good by Corwin E. Smidt

In Good Company: How Social Capital Makes Organizations Work Don Cohen, Laurence Prusak

Players in the Public Policy Process : Nonprofits as Social Capital and Agents by Herrington J. Bryce

Generating Social Capital: Civil Society and Institutions in Comparative Perspective by Dietlind Stolle, Marc Hooghe

Social Capital (Key Ideas) by John Field

Black Social Capital: The Politics of School Reform in Baltimore, 1986-1998 by Marion Orr

Social Capital and Poor Communities by Susan Saegert (Editor), J. Phillip Thompson (Editor), Mark R. Warren (Editor)

Social Capital: A Multifaceted Perspective by Ismail Serageldin, Partha Dasupta

The Creation And Destruction Of Social Capital: Entrepreneurship, Co-Operative Movements and Institutions by Gunnar Lind Haase Svendsen, Gert Tinggaard Svendsen

Brokerage and Closure: An Introduction to Social Capital by Ronald S. Burt

Social Capital by David Halpern - Social capital has become a buzzword among political and academic elites, though the term remains relatively unfamiliar to the general public

Social Capital And Entrepreneurship by Philip H. Kim, Howard E. Aldrich

Social Capital and Lifelong Learning by John Field.

Baum, F., Palmer, C., Modra, C., Murray, C. & Bush, R. (2000), ‘Families, social capital and health’, Chapter 10 in I. Winter (ed.) Social Capital and Public Policy in Australia, Australian Institute of Family Studies, Melbourne.

Coleman, J. (1988), ‘Social capital in the creation of human capital’, American Journal of Sociology, vol. 94, S. 95-120.

Coleman, J. (1988a), ‘The creation and destruction of social capital: implications for the law’, Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics and Public Policy, vol. 3, pp. 375-404.
Cox, E. ( 1995), A Truly Civil Society, ABC Books, Sydney.

Foley, M. & Edwards, B. (1997), ‘Escape from politics? Social theory and the social capital debate’, American Behavioural Scientist, vol. 40, no. 5, pp. 550-561.

Furstenberg, F. (1995), ‘Social capital and successful development among at-risk youth’, Journal of Marriage and the Family, vol. 57, pp. 580-592.

Furstenberg, G. (1998), ‘Social capital and the role of fathers in the family’, Chapter 15 in A. Booth & A. Creuter (eds) Men In Families: When Do They Get Involved? What Difference Does It Make?, Lawrence Erlbaum, New Jersey.

Harriss, J. & De Renzio, P. (1997), ‘Missing link or analytically missing? The concept of social capital’, Journal of International Development, vol. 9, no. 7, pp. 919-937.
Hughes, P., Bellamy, J. & Black, A. (1998), ‘Social capital and religious faith’, Zadok Paper, S97, Spring Summer 1998/1999.

Kawachi, I., Kennedy, B., Lochner, K. & Prothrow-Stith, D. (1997), ‘Social capital, income inequality and mortality’, American Journal of Public Health, vol. 87, no. 9, pp. 1491-1498.

Knack, S. & Keefer, P. (1997), ‘Does social capital have an economic payoff? A cross-country investigation’, The Quarterly Journal of Economics, November, pp. 1251-1288.

Latham, M. (1997), ‘The search for social capital’, in A. Norton et al. Social Capital: The individual, Society and the State, Centre for Independent Studies, Sydney.
Ladd, E. (1996), ‘The data just don’t show erosion of America’s social capital’, The Public Perspective, June/July, pp. 1-22.

Levi, M. (1996), ‘Social and unsocial capital: a review essay of Robert Putnam’s Making Democracy Work’, Politics and Society, vol. 24, no. 1, pp. 45-55.
Lyons, M. & Fabiansson, C. (1998), ‘Is volunteering declining in Australia?’, Australian Journal on Volunteering, vol. 3, no. 2, pp. 15-21.

Newton, K. (1997), ‘Social capital and democracy’, American Behavioural Scientist, vol. 40, no. 5, pp. 575-586.

Norton et al. Social Capital: The Individual, Society and the State, Centre for Independent Studies, Sydney.

Onyx, J. & Bullen, P. (1997), Measuring Social Capital in Five Communities in NSW: An Analysis, Working Paper No. 41, Centre for Australian Community Organisations and Management, University of Technology, Sydney.

Onyx, J. & Bullen, P. (1998), Measuring Social Capital in Five Communities in NSW: A Practitioner’s Guide, Management Alternatives Pty Ltd, Sydney.

Parcel, T. & Menaghan, E. (1993), ‘Family social capital and children’s behavioural problems’, Social Psychology Quarterly, vol. 56, no. 2, pp. 120-135.

Portes, A. (1998), ‘Social capital: its origins and applications in modern sociology’, Annual Review of Sociology, vol. 24, pp. 1-24.

Putnam, R. (1995), ‘Bowling alone: America’s declining social capital’, Journal of Democracy, vol. 6, no. 1, pp. 65-78.

Putnam, R. (1993a), ‘The prosperous community: social capital and public life’, The American Prospect, Spring, pp. 35-42.

Putzel, J. (1997), ‘Accounting for the “dark side” of social capital: reading Robert Putnam on democracy’, Journal of International Development, vol. 9, no. 7, pp. 939-949.

Stewart Weeks, M. & Richardson, C. (1998), Social Capital Stories, Centre for Independent Studies, Sydney.

Valenzuela, A. & Dornbusch, S. (1994), ‘Familism and social capital in the academic achievement of Mexican origin and Anglo adolescents’, Social Science Quarterly, vol. 75, no. 1, pp. 18-36.

Woolcock, M. (1998), Social capital and economic development: toward a theoretical synthesis and policy framework, Theory and Society, vol. 27, pp. 151-208.