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Elgar Companion to Social Capital and Health – Book Review

Elgar Companion to Social Capital and Health

Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Edward Elgar Publishing
Year: 2018
Language: English

Edited by

Sherman Folland, Department of Economics, Oakland University, US

Eric Nauenberg, University of Toronto, Canada

Sherman Folland and Eric Nauenberg present the cutting edge of research covering the ever-expanding social capital field. With excellent contributions from leading academics, the Elgar Companion to Social Capital and Health offers a developed examination of new research across sociology, epidemiology, economics, psychology, and political science.


S.R. Ali, N.D. Anderson, S. Child, H. Corman, S. Dinda, S. Folland, C.G. Frazier, J. Guo, M.K. Islam, T. Iversen, F. Jusot, O.M. Kaarbøe, M. Lindström, M. Ljunge, J. Mandelbaum, M. Menéndez, S. Moore, E. Nauenberg, K. Noonan, P.J. Pettis, N.E. Reichman, L. Rocco, L. Rochaix, E. Shapiro, C. Sharony, T.W. Someno, L. Song, Y.-H. Wu

Book Review

The logic of why social capital impacts health is simple: humans are social organisms whose actions are influenced by others and who derive numerous benefits from social relationships with others. This book explores the theoretical and empirical basis for the relationship between social capital and health. The benefits of social capital for health can seem obvious, intuitive even, but without investigation and analysis, we cannot fully understand the importance of social capital.

Other Notable Editorial Reviews

‘Did you know that the concept of ”social capital” can be traced to Marx? This Companion contains many more startling insights, not least due to its comprehensive review of worldwide empirical evidence suggesting that indeed social capital may have a causal effect not only on mental but also on physical health. Congratulations to the contributors!’
–Peter Zweifel, University of Zurich, Switzerland

Purchase online

The eBook is priced from £22/$31 from Google Play and other eBook vendors, while in print the book can be ordered from the Edward Elgar Publishing website.


1. Introduction
Sherman Folland and Eric Nauenberg

PART I Theories on how social capital improves health
2. How does social capital contribute to health?
Sherman Folland

3. History of social capital and health
M. Kamrul Islam

4. How social capital arises in areas
Tor Iversen and Tigist Woldetsadik Sommeno

PART II Special inquiries on social capital and health
5. Social capital and health across the life cycle
Eric Nauenberg

6. Religious and social capital and health
Ephraim Shapiro and Chen Sharony

PART III Empirical evidence: does social capital improve health? 
7. Social capital in epidemiology
Martin Lindström

8. Social capital and aging brain health
Nicole D. Anderson

9. Social capital and types of illnesses: Where is it most effective?
M. Kamrul Islam, Sherman Folland and Oddvar Martin Kaarbøe

10. Social capital and risk-taking behavior
Sherman Folland

PART IV Causality issues
11. Social capital and health interventions: Enhancing social capital to improve health
Jean Guo, Setti Raïs Ali and Lise Rochaix

12. Does health affect social capital?
Hope Corman, Kelly Noonan and Nancy E. Reichman

13. Trust promotes health: addressing reverse causality by studying children of immigrants
Martin Ljunge

14. Workplace social capital and sickness absence
M. Kamrul Islam and Lorenzo Rocco

PART V Sociology and social capital
15. Network approaches to the study of social capital and health
Spencer Moore, Stephanie Child, Yun-Hsuan Wu and Jennifer Mandelbaum

16. Do network members’ resources generate health inequality? Social capital theory and beyond
Lijun Song, Cleothia G. Frazier and Philip J. Pettis

PART VI Social capital and health in world development
17. Social capital and health inequalities in developing countries: A case study for Indonesia
Florence Jusot and Marta Menéndez

18. Social capital and economic growth
Soumyananda Dinda

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