Existing Citations

  • social capital (p. 102): Author Lyda Hanifan referred to social capital as “those tangible assets [that] count for most in the daily lives of people: namely goodwill, fellowship, sympathy, and social intercourse among the individuals and families who make up a social unit”. ¶ That gives some sense of what’s meant by social capital, although today it would be hard to come up with a single definition that satisfied everyone. For the sake of simplicity, however, we can think of social capital as the links, shared values and understandings in society that enable individuals and groups to trust each other and so work together. (†2693)
  • social capital (p. 103): Social capital is defined by the OECD as “networks together with shared norms, values and understandings that facilitate co-operation within or among groups”. In this definition, we can think of networks as real-world links between groups or individuals. Think of networks of friends, family networks, networks of former colleagues, and so on. Our shared norms, values and understandings are less concrete than our social networks. Sociologists sometimes speak of norms as society’s unspoken and largely unquestioned rules. Norms and understandings may not become apparent until they’re broken. If adults attack a child, for example, they breach the norms that protect children from harm. Values may be more open to question; indeed societies often debate whether their values are changing. And yet values – such as respect for people’s safety and security – are an essential linchpin in every social group. Put together, these networks and understandings engender trust and so enable people to work together. (†2694)