Topical

Social capital and related concepts have application and relevance to a wide range of topical issues and current events. This category explores how social capital is important for these issues and events.

Social sanctions – overview, meaning, examples, types and importance

A social sanction is a social reaction of approval or disapproval in response to someone’s actions. Social sanctions enforce a standard of behaviour that is deemed socially acceptable and this is essential for society to regulate itself and maintain order. Social cohesion and cooperation depend on social sanctions and they are essential for organisations, social …

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China’s Social Credit System An ambitious attempt to build social capital

China is developing a social credit system (SCS), a national reputation system that aims to promote the traditional virtues of integrity, discourage dishonesty, and build an environment of trust. The SCS will utilise big-data enabled surveillance infrastructure to manage, monitor, and predict the trustworthiness of citizens, firms, organizations, and governments. The scheme has attracted considerable …

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Social capital in economics

For economists, the term ‘social capital’ allows for the consideration of social factors that are normally beyond the purview of economic analysis. Despite their intangible nature, economists since at least David Hume and Adam Smith have been interested in the role of social factors such as trust, reputation, norms and belonging in economic outcomes. These …

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Social Capital Impact Statements Avoid unwitting damage to social capital

Social impacts are often overlooked in decision-making despite the importance of social and cultural resources. Social issues are often not recognized sufficiently in public debate yet are significant in the eyes of people and communities. The concept of “social capital” provides the context for understanding a range of phenomenon beyond an economic lens so is …

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Is corruption a dark side of social capital? Correlation or causality?

Many people have asked me whether social capital is correlated with corruption? I don’t think the answer to this question is relevant because I don’t think social capital is a primary causal factor. I think social capital would prohibit corruption in some contexts and promote it in others. Therefore any study of correlation would be …

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Social Capitalism, Capitalism, and Social Capital

Social capitalism is best understood as classic capitalism with a focus on improved social outcomes, or at least economic social responsibility. You could think of this as egalitarian economic practices that aim to ameliorate the social problems caused by capitalism, primarily inequity. Social capitalism is related or associated with the Third Way, the humanisation of …

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Grabbing at the wind: the power forces of social capital

Is attempting to capitalise on social capital just like grabbing at the wind? It’s not particularly tangible and a powerful force that doesn’t always blow the way you want. I have no doubt that social capital is missing from most corporate balance sheets and is certainly a factor that all organisations should take seriously due …

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Is the use of personal mobile devices eroding the public sphere?

This week I was sitting in an airport bar waiting for a flight. As I looked down the bar, all but one of the other 12 people were on their smart phones. No one was talking. There was no social interaction in that physical space, as all but one were occupied elsewhere. Were they all …

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A barren cultural landscape: causes and solutions

When we talk about barren cultural landscapes what do we actually mean? Are we suggesting there is a lack of culture? Or do we mean the outcomes of said culture are somehow undesirable or negative (from a certain perspective)? I hear about how modern culture is hollow, eaten out by rampant individualism. I hear about …

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