Ethnic support provides impetus to academic success. Furthermore, maintenance of literacy in native language also provides a form of social capital that contributes positively to academic achievement. Stanton-Salazar and Dornbusch  found that bilingual students were more likely to obtain the necessary forms of institutional support to advance their school performance and their life chances. Putnam mentions in his book Bowling Alone , " Child development is powerfully shaped by social capital" and continues "presence of social capital has been linked to various positive outcomes, particularly in education".
In states where there is a high social capital, there is also a high education performance. Teachers have reported that when the parents participate more in their children's education and school life, it lowers levels of misbehavior, such as bringing weapons to school, engaging in physical violence, unauthorized absence, and being generally apathetic about education.
In order to understand social capital as a subject in geography, one must look at it in a sense of space, place, and territory. In its relationship, the tenets [ who? The biggest advocate for seeing social capital as a geographical subject was American economist and political scientist Robert Putnam. His main argument for classifying social capital as a geographical concept is that the relationships of people is shaped and molded by the areas in which they live.
Putnam argued that the lack of social capital in the South of Italy was more the product of a peculiar historical and geographical development than the consequence of a set of contemporary socio-economic conditions. This idea has sparked a lengthy debate and received fierce criticism Ferragina, ; Ferragina 3. Anthony Giddens developed a theory in in which he relates social structures and the actions that they produce.
In his studies, he does not look at the individual participants of these structures, but how the structures and the social connections that stem from them are diffused over space. If an area is plagued by social organizations whose goals are to revolt against social norms, such as gangs, it can cause a negative social capital for the area causing those who disagreed with said organizations to relocate thus taking their positive social capital to a different space than the negative.
Another area where social capital can be seen as an area of study in geography is through the analysis of participation in volunteerism and its support of different governments. One area to look into with this is through those who participate in social organizations. People that participate are of different races, ages, and economic status. Secondly, there are different social programs for different areas based on economic situation. Thirdly, social capital can be affected by the participation of individuals of a certain area based on the type of institutions that are placed there.
Fox in his paper "Decentralization and Rural Development in Mexico", which states "structures of local governance in turn influence the capacity of grassroots communities to influence social investments. Since every area is different, the government takes that into consideration and will provide different areas with different institutions to fit their needs thus there will be different changes in social capital in different areas. In the context of leisure studies , social capital is seen as the consequence of investment in and cultivation of social relationships allowing an individual access to resources that would otherwise be unavailable to him or her.
There is a significant connection between leisure and democratic social capital. The more an individual participates in social activities, the more autonomy the individual experiences, which will help her or his individual abilities and skills to develop. The greater the accumulation of social capital a person experiences, may transfer to other leisure activities as well as personal social roles, relationships and in other roles within a social structure.
It has been noted that social capital may not always be used for positive ends. While pursuing doctoral studies, Lester was the first to create figures and equate negative social capital with negative returns. An example of the complexities of the effects of negative social capital is violence or criminal gang activity that is encouraged through the strengthening of intra-group relationships bonding social capital.
Without "bridging" social capital, "bonding" groups can become isolated and disenfranchised from the rest of society and, most importantly, from groups with which bridging must occur in order to denote an "increase" in social capital. Bonding social capital is a necessary antecedent for the development of the more powerful form of bridging social capital. As social capital bonds and stronger homogeneous groups form, the likelihood of bridging social capital is attenuated. Bonding social capital can also perpetuate sentiments of a certain group, allowing for the bonding of certain individuals together upon a common radical ideal.
The strengthening of insular ties can lead to a variety of effects such as ethnic marginalization or social isolation. In extreme cases ethnic cleansing may result if the relationship between different groups is so strongly negative. In mild cases, it just isolates certain communities such as suburbs of cities because of the bonding social capital and the fact that people in these communities spend so much time away from places that build bridging social capital.
Social capital in the institutional Robert Putnam sense may also lead to bad outcomes if the political institution and democracy in a specific country is not strong enough and is therefore overpowered by the social capital groups. Even though German society was, at the time, a "joining" society these groups were fragmented and their members did not use the skills they learned in their club associations to better their society.
They were very introverted in the Weimar Republic. Hitler was able to capitalize on this by uniting these highly bonded groups under the common cause of bringing Germany to the top of world politics. The former world order had been destroyed during World War I, and Hitler believed that Germany had the right and the will to become a dominant global power. Additionally, in his essay "A Criticism of Putnam's Theory of Social Capital",  Michael Shindler expands upon Berman's argument that Weimar social clubs and similar associations in countries that did not develop democracy, were organized in such a way that they fostered a "we" instead of an "I" mentality among their members, by arguing that groups which possess cultures that stress solidarity over individuality, even ones that are "horizontally" structured and which were also common to pre- soviet eastern europe , will not engender democracy if they are politically aligned with non-democratic ideologies.
Later work by Putnam also suggests that social capital, and the associated growth of public trust are inhibited by immigration and rising racial diversity in communities. In societies where immigration is high USA or where ethnic heterogeneity is high Eastern Europe , it was found that citizens lacked in both kinds of social capital and were overall far less trusting of others than members of homogenous communities were found to be. Lack of homogeneity led to people withdrawing from even their closest groups and relationships, creating an atomized society as opposed to a cohesive community.
These findings challenge previous beliefs that exposure to diversity strengthens social capital, either through bridging social gaps between ethnicities or strengthening in-group bonds. It is very important for policy makers to monitor the level of perceived socio-economic threat from immigrants because negative attitudes towards immigrants make integration difficult and affect social capital. James Coleman has indicated that social capital eventually led to the creation of human capital for the future generation. Field suggested that such a process could lead to the very inequality social capital attempts to resolve.
Even though Coleman never truly addresses Bourdieu in his discussion, this coincides with Bourdieu's argument set forth in Reproduction in Education, Society and Culture. Bourdieu and Coleman were fundamentally different at the theoretical level as Bourdieu believed the actions of individuals were rarely ever conscious, but more so only a result of their habitus see below being enacted within a particular field, but this realization by both seems to undeniably connect their understanding of the more latent aspects of social capital.
According to Bourdieu, habitus refers to the social context within which a social actor is socialized. Thus, it is the social platform, itself, that equips one with the social reality they become accustomed to. Out of habitus comes field, the manner in which one integrates and displays his or her habitus. To this end, it is the social exchange and interaction between two or more social actors. To illustrate this, we assume that an individual wishes to better his place in society. He therefore accumulates social capital by involving himself in a social network, adhering to the norms of that group, allowing him to later access the resources e.
If, in the case of education, he uses these resources to better his educational outcomes, thereby enabling him to become socially mobile, he effectively has worked to reiterate and reproduce the stratification of society, as social capital has done little to alleviate the system as a whole. This may be one negative aspect of social capital, but seems to be an inevitable one in and of itself, as are all forms of capital.
Social capital has been associated with the reduction in access to informal credit in informal economies especially in developing countries. Similar results were revealed in a cross-sectional study run by Sarker in Bangladesh. Epo presented the case that social capital and micro loans increase the likelihood of female entrepreneurship in Cameroon. Other authors however disagree about the positive correlation between social capital and Microfinance, Kanak and Iiguni argue that formation of social capital is largely dependent on strategies implemented by Microfinance Institutions.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Central concepts. Civil society Political particularism Positive rights Social capital Value pluralism. Important thinkers. Related topics. Christian democracy Radical centrism Republicanism Social democracy.
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See also: Sex differences in social capital. Academy of Management Review. Retrieved 20 April Also see Hanifan, L. Random House. If self-government in the place is to work, underlying any float of population must be a continuity of people who have forged neighborhood networks. These networks are a city's irreplaceable social capital. Whenever the capital is lost, from whatever cause, the income from it disappears, never to return until and unless new capital is slowly and chancily accumulated.
American Journal of Sociology. Wellman, Barry and Scot Wortley. American Journal of Sociology Loury, Glenn Wallace and A. Le Mund. Lexington, Mass. The Economic Journal. Community and Association. Les Classiques de Science Sociale.
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Escape from politics? Is Civil Society an Adequate Theory? Journal of Planning Education and Research. Social Capital: its origins and applications in modern sociology Annual Review of Sociology, 24, Archived from the original on 16 October Retrieved 10 October January Journal of Democracy. On the contrary, the historical legacy mitigates the negative effect of inequitable income distribution, low labour market participation and weak national cohesion on social capital Ferragina Retrieved 2 December Saguaro Seminar: Civic Engagement in America.
John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Effects of inequitable offer, relationship, and relational-self orientation". Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. Reputation Trojan. Archived from the original on 18 October Retrieved 6 February Strategic Management Journal Journal of Business Venturing. Putnam 7 August Simon and Schuster. Journal of". Computer-Mediated Communication. Social capital and democracy. American behavioral scientist, 40 5 , Social capital: reconceptualizing the bottom line.
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The Journal of Socio-Economics. Political Studies Review. Third Sector. London: Routledge. Dowley and Brian D. Archived from the original on 28 January Equal Participation but Separate Paths? Avoiding Politics. Halifax: Fernwood. Building a network theory of social capital. Lin, K. Burt, Eds. New York: Aldine de Gruyter. A literature review". BMC Public Health. Journal of South Asian Development. International Journal for Equity in Health.
American Journal of Public Health. He observed that Americans were prone to meeting at as many gatherings as possible to discuss all possible issues of state, economics, or the world that could be witnessed.
Social capital - Wikiwand
The high levels of transparency caused greater participation from the people and thus allowed for democracy to work better. The French writer highlighted also that the level of social participation social capital in American society was directly linked to the equality of conditions Ferragina, ; ; Hanifan 's article regarding local support for rural schools is one of the first occurrences of the term social capital in reference to social cohesion and personal investment in the community.
I do not refer to real estate, or to personal property or to cold cash, but rather to that in life which tends to make these tangible substances count for most in the daily lives of people, namely, goodwill, fellowship, mutual sympathy and social intercourse among a group of individuals and families who make up a social unit… If he may come into contact with his neighbour, and they with other neighbours, there will be an accumulation of social capital, which may immediately satisfy his social needs and which may bear a social potentiality sufficient to the substantial improvement of living conditions in the whole community.
The community as a whole will benefit by the cooperation of all its parts, while the individual will find in his associations the advantages of the help, the sympathy, and the fellowship of his neighbours pp. Jane Jacobs used the term early in the s. Although she did not explicitly define the term social capital , her usage referred to the value of networks. Sociologist Pierre Bourdieu used the term in in his Outline of a Theory of Practice ,  and clarified the term some years later in contrast to cultural , economic , administrative capital, physical capital , political capital , social capital and symbolic capital.
The concept that underlies social capital has a much longer history; thinkers exploring the relation between associational life and democracy were using similar concepts regularly by the 19th century, drawing on the work of earlier writers such as James Madison The Federalist Papers and Alexis de Tocqueville Democracy in America to integrate concepts of social cohesion and connectedness into the pluralist tradition in American political science.
John Dewey may have made the first direct mainstream use of social capital in The School and Society in , though he did not offer a definition. The power of community governance has been stressed by many philosophers from antiquity to the 18th century, from Aristotle to Thomas Aquinas and Edmund Burke Bowles and Gintis, Such a set of theories became dominant in the last centuries, but many thinkers questioned the complicated relationship between modern society and the importance of old institutions , in particular family and traditional communities Ferragina, They observed a breakdown of traditional bonds and the progressive development of anomie and alienation in society Wilmott, In the words of Stein : "The price for maintaining a society that encourages cultural differentiation and experimentation is unquestionably the acceptance of a certain amount of disorganization on both the individual and social level.
The appearance of the modern social capital conceptualization is a new way to look at this debate, keeping together the importance of community to build generalized trust and the same time, the importance of individual free choice, in order to create a more cohesive society Ferragina, ;  Ferragina, . It is for this reason that social capital generated so much interest in the academic and political world Rose, Pierre Bourdieu's work tends to show how social capital can be used practically to produce or reproduce inequality, demonstrating for instance how people gain access to powerful positions through the direct and indirect employment of social connections.
Robert Putnam has used the concept in a much more positive light: though he was at first careful to argue that social capital was a neutral term, stating "whether or not [the] shared are praiseworthy is, of course, entirely another matter",  his work on American society tends to frame social capital as a producer of " civic engagement " and also a broad societal measure of communal health. Mahyar Arefi  identifies consensus building as a direct positive indicator of social capital. Consensus implies "shared interest" and agreement among various actors and stakeholders to induce collective action.
Collective action is thus an indicator of increased social capital. Edwards and Foley, as editors of a special edition of the American Behavioral Scientist on "Social Capital, Civil Society and Contemporary Democracy", raised two key issues in the study of social capital.
Racial Diversity and Social Capital: Equality and Community in America
First, social capital is not equally available to all, in much the same way that other forms of capital are differently available. Geographic and social isolation limit access to this resource. Second, not all social capital is created equally. The value of a specific source of social capital depends in no small part on the socio-economic position of the source with society. On top of this, Portes has identified four negative consequences of social capital: exclusion of outsiders; excess claims on group members; restrictions on individual freedom; and downward levelling norms.
Varshney  studied the correlation between the presence of interethnic networks bridging versus intra-ethnic ones bonding on ethnic violence in India. Three main implications of intercommunal ties explain their worth:. This is a useful distinction; nevertheless its implication on social capital can only be accepted if one espouses the functionalist understanding of the latter concept. Indeed, it can be argued that interethnic, as well as intra-ethnic networks can serve various purposes, either increasing or diminishing social capital.
In fact, Varshney himself notes that intraethnic policing equivalent to the "self-policing" mechanism proposed by Fearon and Laitin  may lead to the same result as interethnic engagement. Social capital is often linked to the success of democracy and political involvement. Robert D. Putnam , in his book Bowling Alone makes the argument that social capital is linked to the recent decline in American political participation.
This framework has been rediscussed by considering simultaneously the condition of European regions and specifically Southern Italy Ferragina, ; Ferragina, Social capital has multiple definitions, interpretations, and uses. Thomas Sander  defines it as "the collective value of all social networks who people know , and the inclinations that arise from these networks to do things for each other norms of reciprocity. It "creates value for the people who are connected, and for bystanders as well. David Halpern argues that the popularity of social capital for policymakers is linked to the concept's duality, coming because "it has a hard nosed economic feel while restating the importance of the social.
Social capital has been used at various times to explain superior managerial performance,  the growth of entrepreneurial firms,  improved performance of functionally diverse groups,  the value derived from strategic alliances,  and enhanced supply chain relations. Early attempts to define social capital focused on the degree to which social capital as a resource should be used for public good or for the benefit of individuals. Putnam  suggested that social capital would facilitate co-operation and mutually supportive relations in communities and nations and would therefore be a valuable means of combating many of the social disorders inherent in modern societies, for example crime.
In contrast to those focusing on the individual benefit derived from the web of social relationships and ties individual actors find themselves in, attribute social capital to increased personal access to information and skill sets and enhanced power. In The Forms of Capital  Pierre Bourdieu distinguishes between three forms of capital: economic capital , cultural capital and social capital. He defines social capital as "the aggregate of the actual or potential resources which are linked to possession of a durable network of more or less institutionalized relationships of mutual acquaintance and recognition.
Bourdieu thus points out that the wealthy and powerful use their "old boys network" or other social capital to maintain advantages for themselves, their social class, and their children. James Coleman defined social capital functionally as "a variety of entities with two elements in common: they all consist of some aspect of social structure, and they facilitate certain actions of actors According to Robert Putnam, social capital refers to "connections among individuals — social networks and the norms of reciprocity and trustworthiness that arise from them.
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Putnam says that social capital is declining in the United States. This is seen in lower levels of trust in government and lower levels of civic participation. Putnam also says that television and urban sprawl have had a significant role in making America far less 'connected'. Putnam believes that social capital can be measured by the amount of trust and "reciprocity" in a community or between individuals. Putnam also suggests that a root cause of the decline in social capital is women's entry the workforce, which could correlate with time restraints that inhibit civic organizational involvement like parent-teacher associations.
This offered a reference point from which several studies assessed social capital measurements by how media is engaged strategically to build social capital. Nan Lin 's concept of social capital has a more individualistic approach: "Investment in social relations with expected returns in the marketplace.
Newton  considered social capital as subjective phenomenon formed by values and attitudes which influence interactions. Social capital is formed by repeated interactions over time and, he argues, is critical for development and difficult to generate through public policy. The importance of social capital for economic development is that these norms of behavior reduce transaction cost of exchange such as legal contracts and government regulations.
Fukuyama suggests that while social capital is beneficial for development, it also imposes cost on non-group members with unintended consequences for general welfare. However, Fukuyama argues despite the risk of society having too much social capital, it is nonetheless worse to have too little and be unable to organize for public goods and welfare enhancing activity. Nahapiet and Ghoshal in their examination of the role of social capital in the creation of intellectual capital , suggest that social capital should be considered in terms of three clusters: structural, relational, and cognitive.
This dimension focuses on the advantages derived from the configuration of an actor's, either individual or collective, network.
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This is best characterized through trust of others and their cooperation and the identification an individual has within a network. Hazleton and Kennan  added a third angle, that of communication. Communication is needed to access and use social capital through exchanging information, identifying problems and solutions, and managing conflict. According to Boisot  and Boland and Tenkasi,  meaningful communication requires at least some sharing context between the parties to such exchange. The cognitive dimension focuses on the shared meaning and understanding that individuals or groups have with one another.
A number of scholars have raised concerns about lack of precise definition of social capital. Portes, for example, noted that the term has become so widely used, including in mainstream media, that "the point is approaching at which social capital comes to be applied to so many events and in so many different contexts as to lose any distinct meaning. In addition, they argue that many proposed definition of social capital fail to satisfy the requirements of capital.
They propose that social capital be defined as "sympathy". The object of another's sympathy has social capital. Those who have sympathy for others provide social capital. One of the main advantages of having social capital is that it provides access to resources on preferential terms. Their definition of sympathy follows that used by Adam Smith, the title of his first chapter in the "Theory of Moral Sentiments. A network-based conception can also be used for characterizing the social capital of collectivities such as organizations or business clusters.
While studying norms among African-American family firms and Euro-American family firms, Lester noted that negative social capital was created when the owner of the company was pressured to engage in social behavior not conducive to firm profits.
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The modern emergence of social capital concept renewed the academic interest for an old debate in social science: the relationship between trust, social networks and the development of modern industrial society. Social Capital Theory gained importance through the integration of classical sociological theory with the description of an intangible form of capital. In this way the classical definition of capital has been overcome allowing researchers to tackle issues in a new manner Ferragina, Through the social capital concept researchers have tried to propose a synthesis between the value contained in the communitarian approaches and individualism professed by the 'rational choice theory.
Individuals can exploit social capital of their networks to achieve private objectives and groups can use it to enforce a certain set of norms or behaviors. In this sense, social capital is generated collectively but it can also be used individually, bridging the dichotomized approach 'communitarianism' versus 'individualism' Ferragina, The term capital is used by analogy with other forms of economic capital, as social capital is argued to have similar although less measurable benefits.
However, the analogy with capital is misleading to the extent that, unlike traditional forms of capital, social capital is not depleted by use;  in fact it is depleted by non-use use it or lose it. In this respect, it is similar to the now well-established economic concept of human capital. Social capital is also distinguished from the economic theory social capitalism.
Social capitalism as a theory challenges the idea that socialism and capitalism are mutually exclusive. Social capitalism posits that a strong social support network for the poor enhances capital output. By decreasing poverty, capital market participation is enlarged. Putnam wrote: " Henry Ward Beecher 's advice a century ago to 'multiply picnics' is not entirely ridiculous today.
We should do this, ironically, not because it will be good for America — though it will be — but because it will be good for us. Daniel P. Aldrich , Associate Professor at Purdue University, describes three mechanisms of social capital. Aldrich defines the three differences as bonding, bridging, and linking social capital. Bonding capital are the relationships a person has with friends and family, making it also the strongest form of social capital. Bridging capital is the relationship between friends of friends, making its strength secondary to bonding capital. Linking capital is the relationship between a person and a government official or other elected leader.
Aldrich also applies the ideas of social capital to the fundamental principles of disaster recovery, and discusses factors that either aid or impede recovery, such as extent of damage, population density, quality of government and aid. Putnam speaks of two main components of the concept: bonding social capital and bridging social capital , the creation of which Putnam credits to Ross Gittell and Avis Vidal. Bonding refers to the value assigned to social networks between homogeneous groups of people and Bridging refers to that of social networks between socially heterogeneous groups.
Typical examples are that criminal gangs create bonding social capital, while choirs and bowling clubs hence the title, as Putnam lamented their decline create bridging social capital. The distinction is useful in highlighting how social capital may not always be beneficial for society as a whole though it is always an asset for those individuals and groups involved. Horizontal networks of individual citizens and groups that enhance community productivity and cohesion are said to be positive social capital assets whereas self-serving exclusive gangs and hierarchical patronage systems that operate at cross purposes to societal interests can be thought of as negative social capital burdens on society.
Social capital development on the internet via social networking websites such as Facebook or Myspace tends to be bridging capital according to one study, though "virtual" social capital is a new area of research. There are two other sub-sources of social capital.
These are consummatory, or a behavior that is made up of actions that fulfill a basis of doing what is inherent, and instrumental, or behavior that is taught through ones surroundings over time. Two examples of consummatory social capital are value interjection and solidarity. Value interjection pertains to a person or community that fulfills obligations such as paying bills on time, philanthropy, and following the rules of society.
People that live their life this way feel that these are norms of society and are able to live their lives free of worry for their credit, children, and receive charity if needed. Coleman goes on to say that when people live in this way and benefit from this type of social capital, individuals in the society are able to rest assured that their belongings and family will be safe. The main focus of these thinkers was the urban working class of the Industrial Revolution. They analyzed the reasons these workers supported each other for the benefit of the group and held that this support was an adaptation to the immediate social environment, as opposed to a trait that had been taught to the workers in their youth.
All forms of "capital" were, for Marx, possessed only by capitalists and he emphasized the basis of labour in capitalist society, as a class constituted by individuals obliged to sell their labour power , because they lacked sufficient capital, in any sense of the word, to do otherwise. Marx saw "social capital" as a theoretical total amount of capital, purely in the sense of accumulated wealth or property, that existed within in a particular society. He thereby contrasted it with specific and discrete "individual capital". The second of these two other sub-sources of social capital is that of instrumental social capital.
The basis of the category of social capital is that an individual who donates his or her resources not because he is seeking direct repayment from the recipient, but because they are part of the same social structure. By his or her donation, the individual might not see a direct repayment, but, most commonly, they will be held by the society in greater honor. The donor is not freely giving up his resources to be directly repaid by the recipient, but, as stated above, the honor of the community.
With this in mind, the recipient might not know the benefactor personally, but he or she prospers on the sole factor that he or she is a member of the same social group. Social capital is also linked with religious communities. Religion represents important aspect of social capital religious social capital. There is no widely held consensus on how to measure social capital, which has become a debate in itself. This has resulted in different metrics for different functions.
One type of quantitative social capital measure uses name generators to construct social networks and to measure the level of social capital. These networks are constructed by asking participants to name people that they interact with, such as "Name all the people you've discussed important matters within the past six months.
Many studies measure social capital by asking the question: "do you trust the others? To expand upon the methodological potential of measuring online and offline social bonding, as it relates to social capital,  offers a matrix of social capital measures that distinguishes social bridging as a form of less emotionally tethered relationships compared to bonding. Bonding and bridging sub-scales are proposed, which have been adopted by over scholarly articles. The study found that social media platforms like Facebook provide an opportunity for increased social capital, but mostly for extroverts.
However, less introverted social media users could engage social media and build social capital by connecting with Americans before arriving and then maintaining old relationships from home upon arriving to the states. The ultimate outcome of the study indicates that social capital is measurable and is a concept that may be operationalized to understand strategies for coping with cross-cultural immersion through online engagement.
The level of cohesion of a group also affects its social capital and vice versa. One of the dominant methods is Ronald Burt's constraint measure, which taps into the role of tie strength and group cohesion. Another network-based model is network transitivity. In measuring political social capital, it is common to take the sum of society's membership of its groups.
Groups with higher membership such as political parties contribute more to the amount of capital than groups with lower membership, although many groups with low membership such as communities still add up to be significant. While it may seem that this is limited by population, this need not be the case as people join multiple groups. In a study done by Yankee City,  a community of 17, people was found to have over 22, different groups. Knack and Keefer measured econometrically correlations between confidence and civic cooperation norms, with economic growth in a big group of countries.
They found that confidence and civic cooperation have a great impact in economic growth, and that in less polarized societies in terms of inequality and ethnic differences, social capital is bigger. Narayan and Pritchet researched the associativity degree and economic performance in rural homes of Tanzania. They saw that even in high poverty indexes, families with higher levels of incomes had more participation in collective organizations.
The social capital they accumulated because of this participation had individual benefits for them, and created collective benefits through different routes, for example: their agricultural practices were better than those of the families without participation they had more information about agrochemicals, fertilizers and seeds ; they had more information about the market; they were prepared to take more risks, because being part of a social network made them feel more protected; they had an influence on the improvement of public services, showing a bigger level of participation in schools; they cooperated more in the municipality level.
How a group relates to the rest of society also affects social capital, but in a different manner. Strong internal ties can in some cases weaken the group's perceived capital in the eyes of the general public, as in cases where the group is geared towards crime, distrust, intolerance, violence or hatred towards others.
The Ku Klux Klan is an example of this kind of organizations. Sociologists Carl L. Bankston and Min Zhou have argued that one of the reasons social capital is so difficult to measure is that it is neither an individual-level nor a group-level phenomenon, but one that emerges across levels of analysis as individuals participate in groups. They argue that the metaphor of "capital" may be misleading because unlike financial capital, which is a resource held by an individual, the benefits of forms of social organization are not held by actors, but are results of the participation of actors in advantageously organized groups.
Recently, Foschi and Lauriola presented a measure of sociability as a proxy of social capital. The authors demonstrated that facets of sociability can mediate between general personality traits and measures of civic involvement and political participation, as predictors of social capital, in a holistic model of political behavior. Robert Putnam's work contributed to shape the discussion of the importance of social capital. His conclusions have been praised but also criticized.
Criticism has mainly focused on:. Ferragina ;  integrated the insights of these two criticisms and proposed a cross-regional analysis of 85 European regions, linking together the socio-economic and the historic- institutional analyses to explore the determinants of social capital. He argued that to investigate the determinants of social capital, one has to integrate the synchronic and the diachronic perspectives under the guidance of a methodological framework able to put these two approaches in continuity.
Putnam's work, nourished by doctrines like the end of history Fukuyama  was largely deterministic, and proposed the dismissal of more articulated historical interpretations. This determinism has reduced Southern Italian history as being a negative path to modernity; only the Italian regions that experienced the development of medieval towns during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries have got high levels of social capital today, the others 'are condemned' by the prevalence of the authoritarian rule of the Normans more than years ago.
However, from a purely historical perspective, the medieval town is not unanimously considered to be a symbol of freedom, creation of horizontal ties and embryo of democratic life. In Making Democracy Work, Putnam disregarded the division within municipal towns and their dearth of civic participation and considered only the experience of few areas in North Central Italy, ignoring the existence of important towns in the South.
To this more complicated historical picture, Ferragina  added the result of a regression model, which indicated that social capital in the South of Italy and Wallonia should be much lower than currently detected according to their socio-economic condition. He unfolded Putnam's theory by undertaking a comparative analysis between these two deviant cases and two regular cases located in the same country, namely Flanders and the North of Italy. The historical legacy does not have a negative effect on the present lack of social capital in Wallonia and the South of Italy, but the potentially positive effect of the historical legacy is currently curtailed by the poor socio-economic conditions, notably by the high level of income inequality and the low level of labour market participation.
This historical interpretation is driven by the comparison with Flanders and the North East of Italy. The value of the historical legacy for present socio-economic development is similar to the 'appropriable social capital' theorized by Coleman  at the individual level. The relation between historical evolutions and the socio-economic variables has similar characteristics at the macro level. This process increases social capital even further if socio-economic development is matched by the revival of the unique historical legacy of the area.
The Flemish case and also to a lesser extent that of the North East of Italy illustrates this process well. The socio-economic improvements that took place in the nineteenth century were matched by the revival of the glorious Flemish traditions of the thirteenth and fourteenth century. The increase of social capital generated by the reduction of income inequality and the increasing participation in the labour market due to the economic development was multiplied by the reconstruction of Flemish identity and pride.
This pride and self-confidence has, in turn, increased the feeling of solidarity within the region and contributed to generate a level of social capital, which is hardly explicable by the single socio-economic predictors. Ferragina suggests that, in the divergent cases, the value of the historical legacy is affected by the poor present socio-economic conditions. Social capital sleeps, not because of the absence of certain clearly defined historical steps as suggested by Putnam, but because socio-economic underdevelopment profoundly depressed the self-pride of Southern Italians and Walloons.
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