Thursday, February 19, 2009

"Social Capital" - Midterm Question

Social Capital: What is this? Can you define it?

According to Putnam, social capital refers to connections among individuals - social networks and the norms of reciprocity and trustworthiness that arise from them. It has both an individual and a collective aspect - a private face and a public face. Social capital calls attention to the fact that civic virtue is most powerful when embedded in a dense network of reciprocal social relations. It really means that our lives are made more productive by social ties, because social contacts affect the productivity of individuals and groups. The social capital theory suggests that social networks thus have great value and that well-connected communities are very important. Finally, it is important to note that social capital comes in all shapes and sizes. I think that it is basically just important to recognize that social capital has a major influence on everyone's lives and should therefore not be ignored.

- Posted by: Valerie Figlmiller
- Pages cited: pg. 18-20, Putnam - Bowling Alone

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