Monday, February 23, 2009

Midterm: Give an example of both bridging and bonding social capital. Which one is inclusive and external, and which, exclusive and internal?

Bonding: is an inward looking and tend to reinforce exclusive identities and homogeneous group. An example of that would be a high school swim team which can be a cult, where individuals have to somewhat "prove" and guarantee their membership. Since it somewhat can be difficult to prove worth of joining the cult, the team has a defined identity and each member tends to reinforce it. This kind is also characterized by strong in-group loyalty an strong out-group antagonism,
Bridging are networks that are outward looking and encompass people across diverse social cleavages. Example: civil rights movement, youth service groups, also considered "Information Diffusion." This kind of social capital can generate broader identities, whereas bonding social capital bolsters our narrowed selves. An example of this would be Chadbourne Learning Community where they have academic activities that connect students and expand their knowledge. This would be WD-40 while Bonding would be considered "Glue"

1 comment:

  1. Additionally, Putnam quotes Xavier de Sourza Briggs expressing that bonding social capital is good for "getting by" but bridging social capital is crucial for "getting ahead" (Putnam page 22). I think thats a really good practical way of applying the difference between bridging and bonding.

    Another way to consider the difference is that bridging social capital leads to collective group efforts and brings a variety of people together whereas, bonding social capital reinforces existing self images and beliefs. Therefore, bonding social capital can cause "strong out-group antagonism" (23) as a result of the exclusive identity that forms within the group. This means that members of the group are likely to see others as "outsiders" and as much different from them, potentially leading to prejudice or conflict of some sort.

    The article states that "many groups simultaneously bond along some social dimensions and bridge across others" (23). I think that this is important to take note that bridging and bonding social capital can and do exist together within the same group of people.