Social Capital Literature

The literature on social capital is vast and now includes tens of thousands of articles and books. There is incredible diversity of definitions, conceptual approaches, and areas of application. This category explores this diverse literature.

Economics Imperialism and Social Capital Relationship between social capital and economics

During the 1990s, national governments and international agencies such as the World Bank, OECD, and UNDP discovered social capital, heralding it as the ‘missing link’ in explaining development outcomes and an important factor to build and utilise for improved program performance (Harriss, 2002). This was primarily driven by the World Bank, motivated by mounting criticism …

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Evolution of the concept of social capital

The term ‘social capital’ was virtually unknown until the 1990s, since which time it has rapidly increased in popularity and spread throughout academia and beyond to become a familiar term in community development, business, and politics, and is even entering popular language. The terms ‘social capital’ was used as early as 1900 Usage of the …

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The “wicked problems” of social capital theory

Over the last 20 years of researching and applying the concept of social capital I have constantly navigated certain “problems” with the concept. There are several nagging tensions and incongruences associated with the concept that are typically ignored but are impossible to escape and, it seems, to resolve. Critics are quick to point to these …

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Informal Sanctions

“No human societies exist without social norms, that is, without normative standards of behavior that are enforced by informal social sanctions.” (Fehr & Fischbacher, 2004: p63) Informal sanctions are actions in response to someone’s behaviour that may serve to discourage nonconformity or encourage conformity to a norm, rule, or law. As such, a sanction can …

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Shared narratives An aspect of the cognitive dimension of social capital

Shared narratives are commonly mentioned as elements of the cognitive dimension of social capital. The other dimensions of social capital being the structural and relational dimensions. This conceptualisation, distinguishing between structural, relational, and cognitive dimensions, is one of the major approaches to social capital. This approach was systematically explored and elucidated by Nahapiet & Ghoshal …

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