Talk:Social capital

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Onyx Quote[edit]

Can anyone please help me? I really want to know where the quotes attributed to Onyx (2000) on this page are from! I have read many articles by Onxy and so far can only find an article in which she says 'It is not reasonable to expect those most socially isolated to heal themselves anymore than it is reasonable to expect an acutely ill person to resolve their illness with better excercise.' I foud this in an article by Onyx in the journal Third Sector Review. I even contacted Onyx herself and she can't seem to remmeber having made the rest of the comments. If she did not, who did? Where are they from? I wasnt to reference them in a piece I am writing. Please help! Kefaery 03:42, 21 May 2007 (UTC)

Hi I'm pretty sure I put the Onyx references in originally, so I will go back and check what I wrote it up from. It's also possible that someone has changed what I originally put in and attributed other words to Onyx. If I ahve time I'll check the version history as well. I'm pretty busy at the moment though, so not sure when I'll get back to you. JenLouise 03:48, 6 June 2007 (UTC)

Misc comments[edit]

"A wide variety of quite specific benefits flow from the trust, reciprocity, information, and cooperation associated with social networks. Social capital creates value for the people who are connected and - at least sometimes - for bystanders as well". Some restrict it to "trust available to all members of a community (e.g. family, customer base)" - Craig Hubley

Nan Lin's concept of Social Capital has a more individualistic approach: Investment in social relations with expected returns in the marketplace. It may subsume some others concepts such as Bourdieu, Coleman, Flap, Putnam and Eriksson as noted in Nan Lin book ‘Social Capital’ (2001) Cambridge University Press.--Luisrull 11:57, 28 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Putnam argues that participation in voluntary networks create trust among participants that also affect their trust in strangers, and which reinforces social norms. It should nonetheless be stressed that the connection between trust, norms and networks has been questioned in more recent empirical studies. For example, Eric uslaner, Dietlind Stolle and a number of other social scientists fail to find an association between network activity and trust in strangers. Yet, the studies by Stephen Knack, Philip Keefer and Paul Zak show that trust is associated with such features as economic growth, legal quality and corruption while network measures are not. As such, Putnam's policy recommendation - t oencourage network formation - may prove to be entirely ineffective.

norms and values[edit]

Following cites, that include social capital examples, was purged from article without usable feedback comments! These books are available from the NE-Kansas Library System (NEKLS) and were suggested during ongoing social network analysis research ...

Joseph Bruchac's "Lasting Echoes" (1977) reinforces the native american oral history traditions for conveying intergenerational community values. As savvy organizational development knowledge managers, Coehn & Prusak focus on "Social Talk and Storytelling" - "In Good Company" (2001) - Chapter 5 leads off with a John Milton Paradise Lost quote: Good, the more communicated, the more abundant grows.

In Paul Seabright's "The Company of Strangers" (2004) Part III: Unintended Consequences - From Family Bands to Industrial Cities focused on environmental economics in discussing "Water: Commodity of Social Institution? (Chapter 8).

The "Social Capital" bibliography crafted by M.K. Smith (2001) highlights the blending of interdisciplinary skills needed to establish effective peer group mentorship models championing civic community, organization and education. It includes excerpts from Robert D. Putnam's "Bowling Alone" (2000) Why social capital is important (pp. 288-290).


RJBurkhart 20:02, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

None of these is a reference that was used to create this article as has been explained on your talk page. Wikipedia is not a link farm or a bibliography. Rmhermen 22:17, 2 February 2006 (UTC)
Added abstracts for each item cited above. Please contribute your experience-based insights.
RJBurkhart 21:05, 5 February 2006 (UTC)

New sections added[edit]

Hi I have just gone and added a whole lot of information. This is a work in progress as the headings, sources/citations and order of info in article is not great. I welcome anyone's suggestions but would love if you discuss first before making any major changes as I am still working on this. JenLouise 05:22, 11 July 2006 (UTC)

Have reverted the last edit because someone changed the [[]] to [] which makes no sense. JenLouise 09:19, 14 July 2006 (UTC)

Removal of POV sections[edit]

I have "undeleted" a couple of sentences that were removed in the last few edits but reworded them as they came from texts not from me. I have put a {{fact}} tag in there for me to go back and find the authors I mention. JenLouise 00:17, 21 July 2006 (UTC)

economic value of social capital[edit]

I removed from the the addition of the economic value of social capital and just left it value of social capital as social capital really has nothing to do with economic stuff. It is important because of all the value it provides apart from economic value. JenLouise 00:24, 21 July 2006 (UTC)

Bourdieu and Coleman are both clear that social capital is important because it can help develop economic capital. In Bourdieu at least, the ability to transfer to and from economic capital is the whole point (social capital is an economic investment that gets paid back later; it's a way to maintain class power in a disguised manner). Most social capital writers stress that social capital is vitally important for the capitalist market. Illuminatingvision 07:42, 20 December 2006 (UTC)


Removed the following sentences from the definition section.

  • Another way of examining the concept is to take the two words that comprise that. Social- meaning relating to human society and how society is organized and Capital defined as: economics material wealth in the form of money or property, identifies the meaning as societal wealth.
  • Studies show that war generates social capital and that social capital can be divided along generational lines. For example the World War II generation has sustained their increased levels of civic engagement and remains the faction most likely to participate in activities such as voting and volunteerism.

The first doesn't actually offer a definition, and needs to be reworded/expanded and referenced before being added back in. The second isn't a definition at all and needs to be moved to a more appropriate section and referenced before being added back in. JenLouise 00:26, 25 September 2006 (UTC)

the following supposed clarification is flawed: "However, the analogy with capital is misleading to the extent that, unlike traditional forms of capital, social capital is not depleted by use, but in fact depleted by non-use ("use it or lose it")." capital is usually not depleted by its use, quite the opposite - the more you have the faster/easier you can gain more by using it. --no one important, 14:06, 8 Dec. 2007 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:07, 8 December 2007 (UTC)

Social Capital and Civil Society[edit]

Who cares if some guy wrote a book about civil society and didn't mention social capital? The Onyx and Lyons part goes on too long, and they really aren't that central. It makes contentious claims and looks very close to Original research to me. How is the cited Lyons definition of civil society "somewhat Marxist"? That part about a free space where people come together and argue about stuff? Sounds like textbook liberalism (Mill)/deliberative democracy (Habermas) to me. (Btw, did the author of this article go to Wollongong Uni? I think I know where their focus came from...) Illuminatingvision 07:51, 20 December 2006 (UTC)

I think the civil society section sounds very close to an essay. Too much time is devoted to the question of whether civil society creates social capital or vice versa. It's chicken or the egg type stuff. This is a particularly problematic argument because many writers, such as Portes, have argued that many versions of social capital are tautological, ie. the meaning of term can not be distinguished from its purported effects. Does social capital cause a vibrant civil society? Or the reverse? Or do the terms really just mean exactly the same thing?Illuminatingvision 14:53, 20 December 2006 (UTC)

Social capital and civil society definitely don't mean the same thing. But if you have a problem with the section, why don't you make some suggestions as to how you think it could be fixed? Or better yet go ahead and have ago at fixing it. Either way people will give you feedback once they can see what you would like the section to look like. JenLouise 07:30, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

This section needs editing so it will be useful not just for Australians and so it is a little more balanced. It is very much essay style stuff with sources a university lecturer or tutor with a left wing bias would love. It's an interesting concept, it's word cleaning up and doing properly. It sounds more like an argument against neo-liberalism than civil society let alone social capital, it's certanly not of an encyclopedic nature.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by Josh arm (talkcontribs) 22:35, 19 June 2007.

Again, it would be great to know what you suggest, or better yet, if you think its worth fixing and you have the time - you could just fix it! And yes I did go to the University of Wollongong and get most of my understanding of the term from one place - but that's why it would be really good for people who see social capital/civil society from a different perspective to get in and edit it! I can't write from a perspective I don't have, so the only way the article will get better is for people who have other perspectives to edit the article. JenLouise 01:32, 11 July 2007 (UTC)

Changes I made[edit]

I fixed up some problems in this page. I removed the section saying what an ideal or acceptable definition of social capital is, it was nonsense to have a whole section on the significant, and sometimes fierce, debates about the definition of social capital and then simply judge them against an arbirtary scale which isn't referenced to academic research.

I also changed the section on Bridging and Bonding because it made it sound like Putnam developed the distinction, when Putnam has, in several texts, made it clear that he did not develop the distinction between bridging and bonding.

I also added in a bit from the bristish researcher David Halpern where he described why social capital has been such a wildly popular concept. 02:42, 25 January 2007 (UTC)


The article states that there is no way to measure the cohesion of a group, that it is entirely "subjective." I would like to recommend that there are a number of measures for group cohesion within the practice of social network analysis, especially density, which is a ratio of the number of reported social linkages in a group to the total possible number of linkages. In other words, it tells a researcher the percentage of people in a group who know each other, collaborate, share information, etc, depending on the research question.

Social capital and education[edit]

Can anyone help to expand this important aspect of social capital?

There's a bit about social capital and education in the sociology of education, and I have more if this is not sufficient. Perhaps you could have a go at expanding it, or make some suggestions and then other people can come along and help with it. JenLouise 13:46, 12 April 2007 (UTC)


The following sentence is in the intro and makes no sense to me, even though I did a whole subject on social capital at uni. Therefore I think that it will make absolutely no sense to anyone just happening across the page. Perhaps the "Si" and "K" bits can be taken out and an overview of how Becker defined/used social capital would be better. I don't know anything about becker, but because this stuff is already in the article further down, if it can't be reworded I'll remove it from the intro in a week or so.

Drawing on Coleman, Gary Becker (1996, ch. 1) distinguishes between individual i's personal capital and social capital, Si. Si is used analogously to the capital stock K from the neoclassical growth model in economics to explain interactions of Si with i's investment in social capital.

Also the addition of "with its currency" to the below sentence also makes no sense to me. Can someone explain it? Or once again I might remove it, so that newcomers and non-experts can understand at least the intro.

In the late 1990s, the concept became highly fashionable, with the World Bank devoting a research programme to it and with its currency in Robert Putnam's 2000 book, Bowling Alone.

Cheers. JenLouise 13:44, 12 April 2007 (UTC)


"The evolution of the theory of social capital seems stuck in the pre-web days, and does not take into account Social Networks, such as MySpace and the Daily Kos. Today, new forms of social capital are being built in the Internet, just as the old forms of social capital are declining. In this sense, 'social capital' truly is capital, shifing investments in social marketplace as old social enterprises decline and new ones are born."

This would appear to be an unreferenced POV that probably needs more work before it is acceptable as an edit. Anyone care to help improve and find its appropriate place? John D. Croft 00:15, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

Social capital and education[edit]

It is marvelous to see the present expansion on social capital and education - which is in the consistent form and tone with its parellel section "social capital and civil society". But it seems that the citations inside the text are not updated in the references list. Can anybody help with the update? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Edusoc (talkcontribs) 18:18, 10 September 2007 (UTC)

Incomplete references[edit]

I've just done a reworking of the reference formatting on this article and I found a lot of references have nothing more than a last name and a year to go on. I'm just a drive-by editor so I don't know if there's been a history of removing chunks of the references section in the past, perhaps people more familiar with the article and/or subject could try digging up more complete information about those refs? Bryan Derksen 04:37, 30 October 2007 (UTC)

I could be wrong, but as some of those references look like mine, I think there used to be a bibliography section that had the full reference in it. I'll take a look and see if I can find the full details. JenLouise 12:51, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

Am having a bit of a problem with some, eg. Hazleton and Kennan seem to have written a few articles in 2000, namely:

  • Hazleton, V. and W. Kennan (2000) "Social Capital: reconceptualizing the bottom line" Corporate Communications: An International Journal 5(2): pp.81-86
  • Hazleton, V. and W. Kennan (2000) "The power of social capital: Adapting Bourdieu to the study of public relations" Public Relations Review, Volume 31, Issue 4, November 2005, Pages 492-496

Any ideas? JenLouise 12:51, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

fixed missing ref - it was the first of your 2 citations. not sure what's going on with your second citation: the article is from 2005 not 2000 (as you can see at the end of the citation), and the article's actually by Øyvind Ihlen, not Hazleton and Kennan. Rd232 talk 16:17, 23 October 2008 (UTC)

I found more that are incomplete but am not able to identify the originals - can someone help? See notes 46 referring to a 2007 work but the only work by those authors, in different order, referenced in the bibliography is from 2009. Same or different?EstebanAmadeo (talk) 02:29, 20 December 2012 (UTC) The other I found was Narayan and Pritchet (1997) for which there is nothing in the bibliography.EstebanAmadeo (talk) 02:33, 20 December 2012 (UTC)


In the second paragraph it begins to talk about Prof. O'Neil who coined the term "social capital" and then starts calling him Puffinstuff!? Cute but I don't think H.R. Puffinstuff contributed greatly to the social sciences. Anisetta (talk) 17:19, 8 March 2008 (UTC)

Nan Lin and Social Capital Foundation[edit]

I've reverted the para. about the Social Capital Foundation for a number of reasons. First, it violates WP:OR, which says "no original research". There are no reliable or verifiable citations/references. Second, Nan Lin is a recognized, very experienced scholar who's work is widely accepted in the academic world. By contrast, the Social Capital Foundation doesn't have scholarly recognition. Third, the explanation provided is very non-standard, and goes against the preponderance of authoritative scholarly work in the field. Bellagio99 (talk) 12:50, 23 October 2008 (UTC)

"used in ..."[edit]

I'm removing the words "used in business, ... and the social sciences in general" from the lead section because as a reader, I want the lead section to get to the point without rambling. The statement itself is somewhat trivial (it is to be expected that a concept from one of the social sciences should find some use in related disciplines) and worthless without proper reference that indicates notable use across disciplines. If there are indeed notable applications, then those should not only be summarily mentioned in the lead section, but also be covered in the body text, ideally in an "Applications" section. — Sebastian 19:52, 3 April 2010 (UTC)

background: reference to older theories[edit]

deleted last paragraph in the background section:

assuming that the concept of social capital can be found in works of thinkers such as madison, tocqueville and dewey not only lacks scientific proof, it also biases the reader's acknowledgement of the concept, pretending to conclude that culturally accepted authorities of sociological (et. al.) sciences have also argued in the same direction, thus pretending to be 'common sense'. (talk) 12:59, 10 April 2010 (UTC)

Social capital and civil society[edit]

It seems guys you have given valuable efforts to develop a section of social capital and civil society. The section itself looks academic to me, but the content is a bit premature. Ex: Civil Society is an old,classical concept which holds, political, economical and social values (only social values of civil society have connection with social capital). Among those values, political and economical are most crucial if we examine historical development of the concept (Hegel, Marx points out economic values but they confront each other in terms of political values) Even though, social capital seems to have more relation to the market, economy and capital, but what it deals is social norms, trust which are indirect to the capital accumulation in economical terms. So, we can conclude that social capital is accumulation of human capital within the society which indirectly its leads to the economic improvement.Civil society is an active realm of social interests and needs voluntarily represented through collective action in the public sphere within the rule of law. Civil society if using economic values, can represent directly associations of profit oriented corporations which directly can affect economic policies and etc. Therefore civil society is an 'active' phenomena and stronger infrastructure of the society. Also I mentioned political values and social values of civil society which reveals the limitations of social capital. However, social capital gave a positive view on civil society (since antagonism between state-civil society continued). Its importance comes not from direct economic impact on government policies but ability to strengthen governance capacity and effective policy implementation which serves for the developmental goals. It shows an importance of associative live not in questioning of public policies but cooperation between state-society (opposite to state-society dichotomy. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ykaymov (talkcontribs) 10:21, 12 May 2010 (UTC)

Incomplete references (2)[edit]

I am trying to complete the references. Can somebody please identify these references?

  • Walzer (1992)
  • Schmidt In Alessandrini (2002)
  • Chen (2002)
  • Zhou (2000)

Bmedi (talk) 14:17, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

Lede edits[edit]

I am wondering if User:EdChi's lede edit to Social Capital oversimplified stuff. There's all the political science folks oriented to Robert Putnam and Margaret Levi, who see social capital as civic involvement rather than the interpersonal capital used by sociologists, especially social network analysts, that the edit so nice describes.Bellagio99 (talk) 01:38, 26 August 2011 (UTC)

An article should just be about 1 definition of the word WP:NOT#DICT. The intro already had 3 separate definitions. I condensed it down to 1 parag Bhny (talk) 22:45, 28 April 2012 (UTC)