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What is Social Capital?

Supplementary resources on social capital to complement our guide to social capital.

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Social Capital in Practice

A general guide for the practical application of social capital

Empathy and antipathy

At its core, empathy enables individuals to comprehend and resonate with the emotions and experiences of others. It enables us to internalise the conditions of another person or group of people, allowing decisions to be made simultaneously in their own interests as well as in the interests of others. It fosters understanding, cooperation, and a sense of collective well-being among individuals.

Empathy contributes to the creation of a supportive and inclusive social environment. When individuals demonstrate empathy, it fosters a culture of care and mutual support. This compassionate atmosphere encourages people to offer assistance, share resources, and actively engage in acts of kindness, strengthening the fabric of social bonds.

Strong empathy forms the basis for positive and meaningful interactions within a community. When individuals feel heard, acknowledged, and understood, it builds a foundation of trust, which is a cornerstone of social capital.

In diverse communities, empathy becomes particularly vital. It facilitates an appreciation for different perspectives and experiences, fostering inclusivity. This inclusive mindset enhances the diversity of thought and backgrounds within the community, contributing to a more adaptable and resilient social network.

Beyond individual interactions, empathy influences the broader social norms and expectations within a community. When empathetic behaviours are valued and encouraged, it sets a positive standard for how individuals engage with one another. This normative framework enhances the overall social capital by promoting cooperation, understanding, and a shared commitment to collective well-being.

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