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Change of social capital over time

Exploring Social Capital Podcast
Exploring Social Capital Podcast
Change of social capital over time

Ep 10. Social capital takes time to build and can depreciate over time without maintenance. However, there are factors that sustain social capital, such as nostalgia and attachment value, and other factors that diminish social capital, such as uncertainty associated with a lack of current understanding of the nature of the relationship and connections to others.

In this episode, Tristan Claridge and Lindon Robison explore the dynamic nature of social capital, discussing how it can change over time, either appreciating or depreciating. They start by defining social capital as the relationships and connections between people, which can be influenced by repeated interactions, shared activities, and mutual interests. They emphasize that social capital generally takes time to build, as trust and connection develop through repeated positive exchanges of what they refer to as “relational goods.”

Tristan and Lindon discuss how social capital can depreciate due to a lack of interaction, highlighting that the strength of connections, such as those with family or high school friends, might not diminish significantly despite infrequent contact due to the enduring nature of their shared experiences and deep-rooted commonalities. In contrast, professional relationships might weaken more rapidly without regular engagement.

The discussion also touches on the concept of uncertainty in relationships, suggesting that without regular interaction, uncertainty about the other person’s current behavior and trustworthiness might lead to a depreciation of social capital. Social media is mentioned as a modern tool that can help maintain social capital by keeping people informed about each other’s lives, even without direct interaction.

Lindon brings up the role of symbols and attachment value, explaining that shared symbols or rituals can connect people even if they have never met. He uses examples like Rotary Club membership and sports fandom to illustrate how attachment to symbols can create and maintain social capital.

Tristan and Lindon also address the phenomenon of commodification, where relational goods are exchanged for money, potentially reducing their attachment value and their ability to build social capital. They conclude by discussing practical ways to build social capital, such as taking on community roles that provide visibility and foster connections.

Overall, the episode provides a nuanced understanding of how social capital evolves, emphasizing the importance of regular interaction, shared experiences, and the careful management of relational goods.

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