Saturday, February 21, 2009

Social capital

In my opinion, Social Capital is not really who you know and what they can do for you, because that kind of implies a selfish view to it. I think it's more the concept of trustworthiness and willingness to participate, as well as the shared values of a community.

It's not necessarily like you as an individual have to benefit from social capital, but the society as a whole does. For instance if I were to participate in a Bowling League, it's not like the other people in the league are doing anything "for" me, but it probably benefits the society as a whole because leagues like this are what connects the society and reduce negative things like discrimination.

In a town with zero social capital, it'd be pretty easy for people who know nothing about eachother to start judging everyone else based on race, economical status, etc. With things like book clubs at the library for example, people who normally wouldn't gather together are meeting and mixing. Things like race and how much money you have are irrelevant.

Again, this benefits the society more than an individual person and that is how I view the concept of Social Capital.

1 comment:

  1. It may also be useful to keep in mind that social capital can be positive as well as negative. For example, terrorists may use their network and connections formed through social capital to spread prejudice, encourage hate, and potentially harm innocent people.