Functions of Social Capital

Social capital has been categorised into different ‘functions’ or ‘types’. One such categorisation is into the different between bonding, bridging, and linking social capital.

Difference between bonding and bridging social capital

What is Linking Social Capital?

Linking social capital is a type of social capital that describes norms of respect and networks of trusting relationships between people who are interacting across explicit, formal or institutionalized power or authority gradients in society . These relationships are described as ‘vertical’ and the key feature is differences in social position or power. An example …

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What is Bridging Social Capital?

Bridging social capital is a type of social capital that describes connections that link people across a cleavage that typically divides society (such as race, or class, or religion). It is associations that ‘bridge’ between communities, groups, or organisations. Bridging social capital is different from bonding social capital, which is within social groups and is …

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What is Bonding Social Capital?

Bonding social capital is a type of social capital that describes connections within a group or community characterised by high levels of similarity in demographic characteristics, attitudes, and available information and resources. Bonding social capital exists between ‘people like us’ who are ‘in it together’ and who typically have strong close relationships. Examples include family …

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Relational social capital is about the natural and quality of relationships

Approaches to conceptualise bonding/bridging social capital

Although the distinction between bonding social capital and bridging social capital may immediately seem straightforward, there is an underlying conceptual ambiguity plaguing the current theoretical literature. I have discussed bonding social capital as networks of people who are similar in some important way, and networks of people who typically associate together. This represents two different …

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What is the difference between bonding and bridging social capital?

The difference between bonding and bridging social capital relates to the nature of the relationships or associations in the social group or community. Bonding social capital is within a group or community whereas bridging social capital is between social groups, social class, race, religion or other important sociodemographic or socioeconomic characteristics. The bonding/bridging distinction can be made in relation …

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