The Role of Social Capital in Economic Development

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nships are some of the key factors within a social network that helps shape the quantity and quality of social interactions within society. Therefore, the sum of institutions that underpins a society would not amount to social capital; preferably it is those [G28] [G29] [G30] [G31] limitations[G32] that help hold together the society members. [G33] [G34] [G35]

Barnes-mauthe, Michele, et al. (p. 400) asserts that at the core of the model is the universal agreement among the [G36] [G37] members of a society that ‘relationship matters.’ That translates to a commitment of the people to the community without much focus on individual interests. [G38] Eventually, it becomes a set of implied expectations, values and virtues within the society and just like culture, they are passed down from generation to another (Bertotti, Marcello, et al., p. 15)[G39] . This living model was integrated into [G40] World Bank's organising ideologies. The financial institution claims that there is increasing evidence which proves that social cohesion is a crucial element for societies that wish to prosper economically and those that want to maintain sustainable development. This piece of study is an exploration of the social capital from the perspective of its distinct types and the criticism therein. The study will end with concluding marks drawn from the findings of the paper.  [G41] [G42] [G43] [G44] [G45]

Social capital types

Over the years, social capital has been classified through some dichotomies. However, this paper will only concentrate [G46] on the two main classifications for social capital; network and social structure perspectives. The two social capital classifications provide a descriptive way of looking at social capital. Structural and the network classification types offer different [G47] [G48] views through which social capital elements can be described although they can as well be used interchangeably (Bertotti, Marcello, et al., p. 12)[G49] .[G50] [G51] [G52] [G53] [G54] [G55] [G56]

The network perspective classifies social capital further as either bonding, bridging or linking. Bonding social capital exists between people who demand a relatively high caliber network in [G57] their enclosures. In most cases, the individuals would share the same social class. This has earned the bonding social capital the inference "horizontal ties" (Bertotti, Marcello, et al., p. 12). This is opposed to vertical ties which would exist between different social groups. A key defining feature of the bonding social capital is that the members are mostly of the same local communities who have in-depth knowledge of each other within the enclosure[G58] [G59] (Sayer, Andrew, p. 168). As a result, bonding social capital has close association with extremely high trust levels, strong norms and high morality values. This salient features of bonding social capital can lead to both positive or negative implications and manifestations as far as social exclusion is concerned. In as much as bonding social capital provides solidarity, the members have access to standard network assets which inhibits the model from being used in[G60] some situations. [G61] [G62] [G63]

Bridging social capital on the other hand links together people across different social divides or even estranged social groups (Sayer, Andrew, p. 167). According to Sayer, Andrew, (p. 168), the focal point of the functionality of bridging social capital is the ability to find the structural holes in the various social groups as access points to tap into the social networks of each of these groups. The fact that the bridging social capital operates through the established hierarchical structures has earned the model the name “vertical ties”. As expected, there would not be many shared norms in bridging social capital structure although there exist minimal levels of reciprocity and ‘thin trust' (Sayer, Andrew, p. 166). The ability to provide access to networks outside an individual’s circles increases the model’s ability to provide group or individual benefits as compared to the bonding social capital. [G64] [G65]

Finally, the linking social capital model denotes the norms of networks and respect that establish trust-based relationships individuals interacting in avowed, institutionalised and legitimate power circles and authority asymmetry in a society (Sayer, Andrew, p. 168). [G66] Many of the linking social capital features are similar to those of bridging social capital. [G67]

Social structure perspective of social capital

It is possible to distinguish social capital by its source, but it is quite difficult to differentiate the structural and cognitive forms of social capital since the two are mutually reinforcing and intimately connected (Bertotti, Marcello, et al., p. 19)[G68] .[G69] [G70] [G71] [G72] [G73] [G74]

Structural social capital refers to those elements within a social structure that creates opportunities that would facilitate the realisation of productivity within the social network (Barnes-mauthe, Michele, et al., p. 399). This model would, therefore, include the establishment of [G75] [G76] [G77] well-defined

roles and systems often supplemented by procedures, precedents and [G78] [G79] rules to give stability to the social transactions that are to take place within the network. This has to do with historical cultural foundations and the institutions within the society as opposed to pure norms and believes.  [G80] [G81] [G82] [G83] [G84] [G85] [G86] [G87]

Nevertheless, the cognitive social capital would include shared values, attitudes, beliefs and norms that propel a group of people towards the achievement of mutually beneficial action (Barnes-mauthe, Michele, et al., p. 397).  [G88]

The final class of the social structure perspective of social capital is the relational approach. Trust and trustworthiness are vital features of the relational social capital [G89] since the structure is based on the social relationships among the individuals. [G90]

Criticisms of social capital

Social capital has received a fair share of blame as well. [G91] [G92] Some critics argue that by stating that social engagements are eroding, Putman got it all wrong. Instead, the critics advocate that social engagements are evolving by the day. In the view of the critics, instead of one just mingling and engaging with individuals from their neighbourhoods, like a bowling league group, people are now joining groups based on the shared beliefs like fighting environmental degradation or agitating for gay rights for instance rather [G93] than their locality (Barnes-mauthe, Michele, et al., p. 390). These groups, Amnesty International, for example, can exist both virtually on the internet as well as in the "real" world. The practical option has made it possible to create social communities between people who [G94] [G95] [G96] [G97] may never meet physically, but they share common interest and values. Not all people are however convinced that the virtual communities can hold the same benefits as the traditional groups would.  [G98] [G99] [G100] [G101] [G102] [G103] [G104]

Further critics claim that social capital as a term is in itself poorly defined, vague, hard to measure and maybe, not a capital form altogether. Economists, for instance, argue that for [G105] [G106] there to be capital, one has to sacrifice in [G107] the present which is not the case with social capital Barnes-mauthe, Michele, et al. (p. 397). Despite this debate, more and more policymakers and politicians are getting more attracted to the social capital with time. [G108] The main reason for this is the increased cases of marginalisation in the modern society Barnes-mauthe, Michele, et al. (p. 398). [G109] A classic example is the existence of an “underclass” in the developed countries who may never catch up with the rest due to lack of human capital and, arguably, the “right” blend of social capital. A case can be made that social capital and human capital are extremely linked.  [G110]

[G111]

Conclusion

The big question that the audience of this study may ask is, are human and social capital linked? Barnes-mauthe, Michele, et al. (p. 397) argue that social and human capital cannot exist in isolation from each other. The two feed each other in some way pointing to elaborate ways of linking. This goes beyond the criticism against social capital available in the existing review of the literature. This is a worthy reason to embrace the development of social capital both virtually and physically.[G112] [G113] [G114] [G115] [G116] [G117] [G118]

Works cited

Barnes-mauthe, Michele, et al. "What Determines Social Capital in a Social-Ecological System? Insights from a Network Perspective." Environmental Management[G119] 55.2 (2015): 392-410. ProQuest. 29 Apr. 2018.[G120]

Bertotti, Marcello, et al. "Types of Social Capital and Mental Disorder in Deprived Urban Areas: A Multilevel Study of 40 Disadvantaged London Neighbourhoods." PLoS One 8.12 (2013) ProQuest. 29 Apr. 2018.

Sayer, Andrew. "Review Essay: What is the Question?" Soundings.62 (2016): 167-75. ProQuest. 29 Apr. 2018.

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October 24, 2023
Category:

Economics Sociology

Number of pages

6

Number of words

1625

Downloads:

44

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