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Social capital - Essay Example

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Concept of “Social Capital” “Social capital” is perceived as a connection between various social networks within the society to overcome common problems or meet for a common cause. As a bond is created between various social institutions or bodies to achieve the common purpose, it gives birth to social capital…
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Download file to see previous pages Putnam, Leonardi and Nanetti in 1993 in their Making Democracy Work: Civic Traditions in Modern Italy, defined the term “social capital” as “features of social organisation, such as trust, norms [or reciprocity], and networks [of civil engagement], that can improve the efficiency of society by facilitating coordinated actions” (Hobbs 2000). The World Bank defined it as “the institutions, relationships, and norms that shape the quality and quantity of a society’s social interactions” (Hobbs 2000). However despite the differences in perspectives, all believe that social networks are the most valuable assets for the society “just as a screwdriver (physical capital) or a college education (human capital) can increase productivity (both individual and collective)” (Putnam 2000, p. 19), in the same way forming social contacts are excellent for increasing the productivity of the individuals and even groups (Putnam 2000, p. 19). ...
2). In many of the western democracies of today, we can see the concept of community and social networks at all the civil, political as well as economical levels growing, giving an ample proof of the increase in social relations as the most important cause for maintaining sustainable communities in all the social, economic and democratic spheres of the society. These kinds of social relationships are said to be loaded with the social capital including all the norms or means of production that allow the people to join in the mutual agreement or work in a collective way. There are different traits of social capital like social norms, social network and trust (Productivity Commission 2003, p. x). Social norms are informal rules that formulate the behavior of the people in varying circumstances like showing tolerance and respect towards others etc as well as “reciprocity” like behavior with others in the way you expect others should behave with you. Similarly social network is an interconnection between the different groups of people having common characteristics and traits for e.g. family or a religious group. The third one is trust which is simply the way to develop confidence with the people whom you are in contact. Trust is a main thrust of all the relationships and is the most important component for the well being and overall development of the human beings (Productivity Commission 2003, p. xi). Studies conducted on the sociology of economic development in the developing nations as well as around the “network capitalism” in East Asia have also diverted attention towards the importance of the social networks. In fact even in the Western economies, researchers have found out highly flexible form of “network ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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