There are many ways to approach the problem of conceptualising social capital but given the complexity of the concept there is no one best method. Many conceptualisations over simplify the concept to the point where much of the meaning and significance is lost. The other end of the spectrum is also problematic because operationalising the concept becomes almost impossible simply because of this complexity.

This section details with the problems and discusses the major approaches that can be found in the literature. This study also proposes a new conceptualisation that is both more complex than the usual approaches, while still maintaining some degree of simplicity.

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