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Social Capital

Hardback By Joonmo Son
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Product Description

Social capital is a principal concept across the social sciences and has readily entered into mainstream discourse. In short, it is popular. However, this popularity has taken its toll. Social capital suffers from a lack of consensus because of the varied ways it is measured, defined, and deployed by different researchers. It has been put to work in ways that stretch and confuse its conceptual value, blurring the lines between networks, trust, civic engagement, and any type of collaborative action.

 This clear and concise volume presents the diverse theoretical approaches of scholars from Marx, Coleman, and Bourdieu to Putnam, Fukuyama, and Lin, carefully analyzing their commonalities and differences. Joonmo Son categorizes this wealth of work according to whether its focus is on the necessary preconditions for social capital, its structural basis, or its production. He distinguishes between individual and collective social capital (from shared resources of a personal network to pooled assets of a whole society), and interrogates the practical impact social capital has had in various policy areas (from health to economic development).

 Social Capital will be of immense value to readers across the social sciences and practitioners in relevant fields seeking to understand this mercurial concept.

Product Details

Format: Hardback, 200 pages Language: English
Dimension: 21.84cm x 14.48cm x 2.29cm ISBN10: 1509513787
Weight: 386g ISBN13: 9781509513789
Publication Date: 15 May 2020 Publisher: Polity Press

About Author

Joonmo Son is Associate Professor of Sociology at the National University of Singapore

Product Reviews


“A magnificent book that precisely captures both individual and collective aspects of social capital, differentiates it from structural preconditions, and illuminates its wide contributions to scholarship. Essential for scholars, students, and practitioners interested in the theory, research, and applications of social capital.” Nan Lin, Duke University “An excellent account of the different aspects and applications of social capital. The book is comprehensive and profound, while nicely connecting theory with measurements. A must-read for researchers, teachers, and students.” Beate Völker, Utrecht University “This book seeks to bring the complicated and often fragmented literature of social capital into a coherent whole. After applying a dichotomous framework between individual and collective types of social capital to a variety of domains, it proposes a new and more sensible model of social capital. The book contains many interesting ideas and is an essential reading for social scientists.” Yaojun Li, University of Manchester“The social capital literature is expansive in need of a good integration and refocusing. Son's Social Capital is an excellent start.”Craig M. Rawlings, Social Forces“Son very helpfully wrangles a large, complicated, and unruly literature[, …] provides a systematic and clear survey of the literature and proposes a simple analytical scaffold to organize many findings and studies.” Bruce Carruthers, Contemporary Sociology


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