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Gender Issues in Social Capital

One area social capital literature is weak on is gender (Kilby 2002)[1]. Ethnic and gender dimensions of social capital remain under-recognized (Fox and Gershman 2000[2]; Molinas 1998[3]). In the literature, social capital is generally conceptualized gender-blind, paying little attention to gendered intra-household issues of power and hierarchy (Norton 2001[4]; Silvey and Elmhirst 2003[5]). Silvey and Elmhirst (2003)[5] argued that for a more complete picture of social capital, specifically one that includes attention to the gendered and intergenerational conflicts and hierarchies within social networks, and the broader context of gender difference within which social networks are forged. The authors also posited that social capital that exists within a broader context of gender inequality can exacerbate women’s disadvantages, as women remain excluded from the more powerful networks of trust and reciprocity that exist among men (Silvey and Elmhirst 2003)[5].

Citing this article

This article is part of a thesis submitted to the University of Queensland, Australia. You should reference this work as:

Claridge, T., 2004. Social Capital and Natural Resource Management: An important role for social capital? Unpublished Thesis, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia.

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  1. Kilby, Patrick. 2002. ‘Social capital and civil society.’ Pp. 1-15. Canberra: National Centre for Development Studies at ANU. ^
  2. Fox, Jonathan, and John Gershman. 2000. ‘The World Bank and social capital: Lessons from ten rural development projects in the Philippines and Mexico.” Policy Sciences 33: 399-419. ^
  3. Molinas, JoseR. 1998. “The impact of inequality, gender, external assistance and social capital on local-level cooperation.” World Development 26: 413-431. ^
  4. Norton, Andrew. 2001. “The market for social capital.” Policy Autumn 2001: 40-44. ^
  5. Silvey, Rachel, and Rebecca Elmhirst. 2003. “Engendering Social Capital: Women Workers and Rural-Urban Networks in Indonesia’s Crisis.” World Development 31: 865-879. ^

2 Responses

  1. Thank you again Tristan for a well defined research based but practical examination of another aspect of this perplexing construct we call social capital.

  2. I can only repeat the above comments. Since your original posting in 2004 have there been any further studies of note?

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