Introduction to Social Capital Theory

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Course Description

This is an introductory course to give you a foundational understanding of social capital theory. It is intended for anyone wanting to study, research, or apply social capital theory. It is academic and supported by the key literature on social capital.

Learning objectives

After completing this course you will have an understanding of:

  • Social capital and its benefits and downsides
  • The main conceptual approaches and their history and evolution
  • The factors that complicate social capital theory including levels and dimensions
  • The dimensions of social capital including structural, relational, and cognitive
  • The distinction between bonding, bridging and linking social capital
  • The main measurement approaches and their limitations
  • The main criticisms of social capital theory and how to avoid making the same mistakes
  • How to use social capital in your research or project


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