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The 'dark side' of social capital von Müller-Heidelberg, Birte (eBook)

  • Erscheinungsdatum: 03.12.2003
  • Verlag: GRIN Publishing
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The 'dark side' of social capital

Essay from the year 2003 in the subject Sociology - Work, Profession, Education, Organisation, grade: B, University of Bath (European Studies and Modern Languages), 25 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: Social Capital 'Such things as trust, the willingness and capacity to cooperate and coordinate, the habit of contributing to a common effort even when noone is watching [...].'1 1. Introduction The idea of social capital that developed in sociology has in recent years spread all over the disciplines and become more influential in politics and economics as well. It is known to make economy flourish and increase the democratic performance of a state. Social bonds lower the costs of working together, social capital facilitates cooperation. People have the confidence to invest in collective activities, knowing that others will also do so. With the rising interest in social capital, the concept has almost been canonised. Social capital and the idea of civil society emerging from it often appear as the cure-all to every single one of our problems. The 'features of social organisation, such as trust, norms, and networks, that can improve the efficiency of society by facilitating coordinated actions'2 is how Putnam defines social capital; and indeed, those factors seem very appealing. But a dense concept of relations and trust, connectedness, networks and groups, the belief in reciprocity and exchanges, common rules, norms and sanctions3 is not entirely positive and harmless and therefore should not be embraced unquestioned. As every other concept, social capital as well is a two edged sword. 'Relationships matter'4, is how Field summarizes the central thesis of the theory. And she is right. This essay tries to show that in fact a whole range of different kinds of relationships do exist in society, and that not all of them have a positive impact on the 'common good'. 1 Solow, 2000, 7 2 Putnam, 1993, 169 3 central aspects of social capital as identified by Pretty/Ward, 2001 4 Field, 1996, 1


    Format: PDF
    Kopierschutz: none
    Seitenzahl: 15
    Erscheinungsdatum: 03.12.2003
    Sprache: Englisch
    ISBN: 9783638237239
    Verlag: GRIN Publishing
    Größe: 411 kBytes
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