FOUR APPROACHES TO DEFINING SOCIAL CAPITAL by ALICE ELIZABETH FLEISHER B.A., San Francisco State College, 1970 A thesis s ubmitted to the Faculty of the Graduate School of the University of Colorado in partial fulfillment o f the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts Sociology Program 2015
2015 ALICE ELIZABETH FLEISHER ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
ii This thesis for the Master of Arts degree by Alice Elizabeth Fleisher h as been approved for the Sociology Program by Akihiko Hirose, Chair Stacey J. Bosick Keith Guzik April 21, 2015
iii Fleisher, Alice Elizabeth (M.A., Sociology) Four Approaches to Defining Social Capital Thesis directed by Assistant Professor Akihiko Hirose ABSTRACT The concept of social capital which enjoys wide spread usage, is handicapped by various problems including the lack of a universally agreed upon definition, measurement problems, challenges to claims of causality, and circular reasoning Through this study a conceptual map wh ich encapsulated the expansive number of existing definitions of social capital became apparent The resultant conceptual map consists of four approaches, understood from an external perspective of structure and form, which have been labeled discrete comp osite reductionist and social energy Thi s conceptual map is offered as a possible tool and preliminary step to aid in the summarization of existing definitions of social capital as a means to facilitate subsequent scholarly dialog ue investigation and accelerat ing the adoption by consensus of a universal definition for social capital The form and content of this abstract are approved I recommend its publication. Approved : Akihiko Hirose
iv TABLE OF CONTENTS CHAPTER I. INTRODUCTION 1 Overview 1 Guide to the Chapters Contained in the Paper 8 II. REVIEW OF SOCIAL CAPITAL LITERATURE 10 Initial Social Capital Literature 11 The Utilitarian and Cooperative Tracks 21 III. FOUR APPROACHES USED TO DEFINE SOCIAL CAPITAL 37 First Approach: Discrete 40 Second Approach: Composite 42 Third Approach: Reductionist 52 Fourth Approach: Social Energy 56 IV. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION 62 Discussion 62 Problems related to Conceptualizing Social Capital as a Resource 64 Conclusion 72 REFERENCES 77
1 CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION Overview What is the role and value of the concept of social capital within social science research? In observing its usage by a wide spectrum of social scientist researchers and would argue that this applicability alone provides a credible basis for the continued use of the concept Flap ( 1988, 2002 ) declares that social capital theory represents a new frontier in network studies, due to its ability to incorporate the dimension of the motivating goals in relationsh ip to human interactions, when compared to the dominant structural approach Uphoff ( 1992, 2000) strongly supports its usage as a tool to pro mote ec onomic and social prosperity in developing societies because it encompasses the norms, culture, motivation, and solidarity . (Uphof f 2000 :215) From a different perspective, Nahapiet, Gratton, and Rocha suggest that the concepts concern with the dimension of motivation and access for p ersonal relationships makes it a valuable tool for firms concerned with developing cooperative relationships They posit that the concept of social capital, due to its inclusion of resources such as trust and reciprocating identity can function to introdu ce new sets of assumptions beyond the current dominance of instrumental or enlightened self interest, crucial to enabling cooperative practices (2005:3 14) However, Schuller, Baron, and F ield (2000) suggest that, in addition to its interdisciplinary appli cability, the concept s ability to shift the focus away from the individual agent towards the social unit ; its ability to link micro meso and macro levels of research; its introduction of values into social
2 science research; and its heuristic value as compelling characteristics that would argue for its continued use in social science research (p p 35 38) S ocial c apital is becoming a more significant social concept as seen through the growing body of work utilizing this concept. In a cursory search ( as of February 23, 2014 ) using Science and Social Sciences Citation index, 1975 present), 7,477 documents were located Despite its popularity, t he concept carries with it many th eo retical handicaps, including the lack of a clear understanding of what it is, how to measure it, its role in causing desired outcomes, and the presence of circular reasoning For example, scholars have been unsuccessful in identifying a universally agree d upon definition that could be ascribed to by a broad coalit ion of social capital theorists (Schuller, Baron, and Field 2000; Robison, Schmid, and Siles 2002; Adam and Ron 2003) In relation to that weakness, Adam and Ron d : 1 58), and cut Further, Dasgupta (2000 ) and Woolcock and Narayan (2000) allude to diffi culties in constructing a reliable instrument to measure the concept There is also a tendency for current studies to overlook and omit causal factors As an example of this problem, Hooghe and Stolle (2003) and Campbell (2009) argue that 995 a, 1995b, 2000) dependence on associational life seen as a form of social capital as the solution to loss of civic engagement ignore the contributions to civic behavior of childhood socialization and adolescent peer groups. In addition, Portes (2000) and Schuller, Baron, and Field (2000) include circular logic as an additional problem that can occur in conjunction with the concept Schuller,
3 Baron, and Field (2000 ) find the concept to have value and promise, they char acterize social capital as an immature concept which stands at an evolutionary cross roads, one whose current theoretical integrity is under attack and whose future potential questionable. One area of theoretical work urgently needed to allow social capital to move past its current definitional log jam and to facilitate the fostering of a common understanding of the concept is the discovery of a simple, effective, and comprehensive systematization which will allow for the categorization of existing definitions and dynamics within of social capital A systemization of this type, by being able to simply display and sum up the types and spread of existing social capital definition s, cou ld act as a reference point as well as function as a catalyst to encourage scholars after a period of dialog and debate, to arrive at a universally agreed upon definition for the concept of social capital Efforts to sketch an synopsis of social capital h ave been attempted by past scholars, including Portes (1998, 2000) W all, Ferrazzi, and Sch r yer (1998), Foley and Edwards (1999), S erageldin and Grootaert (2000 ) Portes and Landolt (2000), Schuller, Baron, and Field (2000), Adler and Kwon (2002), Smith and Kulynych (2002), Adam and Ron (2003), Claridge (2004), Thomson (2005), and Fine (2007) with less than definitive results. Alt hough these and other assessment studies have provide d valid insights they were often as or even more complex than the concept they sought to explain unable to decrease the definitional disunity surrounding the concept explained only a narrow aspect of it and thus far have been unable to neither stem the continuing momentum of definitional confusion nor spark conse nsus efforts A s a result of my study of social capital literature, it became clear to me that an assessment and organizational tool with
4 the potential to change the current definitional dysfunctionality could be quite useful If the community of social capital scholars is ever going to get past the problem of the disunity of definitions, a preliminary step must be made to produce at a systemization whereby current definitions can be comprehended and systematized Therefore, t he purpose of this paper is to present a conceptual map I developed as a result of my study of existing social capital literature that I feel has the potential to accelerate the process of break ing through the definitional impasse ; a streamline d to ol which clarifies and identifies four distinct approaches that are being used to define the concept This tool accomplishes that task through utilizing an external perspe ctive of structure format, and cont ent The conceptual map presented in this paper is being advanced as a means to enable the reorganization of the field of social capital through facilitating future definitional unity It seems prudent at this point to affirm what we already know about s oci al capital; it is a concept whose playing field includes individual and collective social relationships ; is concerned with the impact of various social resources ; and includes structures, norms, values and attitud es For example, Ostrom and Ahn (2003) suggest that social cap ital studies introduced trust and norms of reciprocity, networks and forms of civic engagement, and both formal and informal institution . as causes n overlooked and bypassed by neo classical a nd rational choice theorists (p. xii) Also, Nahapiet (2009) suggests that social capital provides strong theoretical support for collaboration and thus competitive advantage within firms :
5 . it demonstrates empirically the strategic significance of social connections, it explains various factors that produce high and low levels of social capital, and it elucidates the core constructs underpinning both social connections and collaborative advantage: embeddedne ss, reciprocity, appropriability, latency and convertibility. (2009:210) However, although these summarizations are helpful in advancing a basic understanding of the concept, they do not begin to convey, comprehend, or deal with the sheer number and complexity of existing attempts that have been made in order to answer that elusive question of what social capita l is To respond to that challenge I would suggest the urgency of and need for a comprehensive identification of general definitional patterns that underlie the current number of existing definitions must be identified systematized, for mulated, and explain ed in order for students of social capital to ever hope to achieve a clearer understanding of the elusive concept F ollowing is a brief summarization each of the four approaches that make up the core of my conceptual map of existing s ocial capital definitions, although I will go into more depth, providing examples for each of these approaches in the third chapter of this paper The four approaches that I suggest are utilized to define social capital are as follows : (1) the discrete approach which consists of scholars utilizing and relabeling as social capitals, various and autonomous social resources Lin (2001) includes the following examples of empirical social resources: land, money, honorific degrees, job referrals, and being a member of the nobility (Lin 2001:43 45) (2) the composite approach consists of social resources that have been combined and subsumed into one overarching resource in one of the following five ways: ( a) various social resources that have been organized according to categories and subcategories; (b) lists of resources that vary according to context and ability to be accessed ; (c) a fixed list of social resources;
6 (d) b lending of the first, second, and third options ; or (e) utilizing any or all of the firs t four options as well as highlighting a resources that is created by those for options. I have used the label stock and flow terminology that was introduced by Krishna (2000 :73), to describe this version with stock referring to a set number of resources while flow refers to resources that are fostered by the stock resources; (3) in the reductionist approach, scholars designate one resource as social capital; and (4) in the social energy ( a term introduced by Hirschman in 1984) approach, social capital is understood as the energy generated between actors in a social relationship As mentioned earlier, t he raw material and common denominator found in every one of the four approaches in my conceptual map are social resources, spe cifically those resources that are generated by, attributed to, found within, or utilized connected to social relationships Social resources are crucial to my conceptual map of the four definitional approaches because they are the elements that are being manipulated, structured, and acted upon in the process of constructing definitions. These social resources include, but are not limited to, roles, rules, precedents, norms, values, attitudes, conventions, and behaviors Within social capital literature, social types of resources are considered to be a new form of capital assets generated within and by social relationships, joining the ranks of existing capital s such as physical, material, human (Schultz 1961, Becker 1993), and cultural (Bourdieu 1977, 19 86) This perspective is clarified by the following quote: All forms of capital can be understood as assets of various kinds, however they were created Assets are things that yield streams of benefit that make future productive processes more efficient, m ore effective, more innovative, or simply expanded. ( Uphoff 2000 :216) In this perspective, socia l resources are understood, metaphorically speaking, to be assets i n like manner to capital goods, as shown in the following definition of the term capital:
7 Capital (or capital goods) consists of those durable produced goods that are in turn used as productive inputs for further production (Sam uelson and Nordhaus 2005:267) Samuelson and Nordhaus (2005) goes on to state that the durability of capital goods var ies and reasserted that they function as both an input and output (p. 267) There are equipment (consumer durable goods . .and producer durable equipment . .), a nd 2005:267). Thus capital goods can be manipulated, acted upon, produced, harvested from and invested Applying the concept of capital to social resources found wi thin and in the context of social relationships implies that they can be acted upon in a similar fashion. Characterizing social resources as types of capital was an approach that was systematized beginning in the 1980s by a small cadre of theorists; Lin (1982, 2001), Flap and DeGraff (1986), Coleman (1987, 1988, 1990), and Flap ( 1988, 2002 ) As asserted by Flap ( 1988, 2002 ), social resources were compared metaphorically to capital and thought of as substantial entities that could be manipulated to fu interests. The logical thing to do is to interpret personal networks as resources, analogous to these other resources, to treat them as a sort of capital that is instrumental in reaching general goals. (Flap 2002 :34) After s ocial capital was relegated to the level of and equated with social resources subsequent social capital literature has continued to follow this protocol resulting in it being the assumption of choice in the majority of contemporary definitions of social capital
8 Guide to the Chapters Contained in this Paper The second chapter of this paper will begin with of a literature review of early scholarly works that feature either the concept of social capital, beginning with the works of Marx ( [ 1953 ]1973, [1867 ]1976 ) These initial uses were sporadic and lacked uniformity in their understanding and application of the concept The first attempt to systemize the concept was done by Bourdieu (1977, 1986) and his work will be examined in some depth Beginning in the 1980s, s 1986), a usage pattern emerged where scholars defined and explained social capital from either a utilitarian or cooperative perspective a pattern that continues to be present in social capital scholarship I track ed t he presence of these tw o focuses within the literature and identified and then applied them to two distinctive tracks that I have labeled the utilitarian or cooperative track the labels being assigned from the perspective of the motivation for the use of social resources In addition to summarizing literature that occurred in the initial phase of the concept, this chapter will examine a sampling of literature that exemplifies these two tracks In the third chapter I will analyze and give examples of the four approaches to defining social capital that I have identified as discrete composite reductionist and social energy (Hirschman 1984) I developed t hese approaches using the paradigms of structure, form, and content which allowed me to discern and develop a conceptual map in which I categorize social capital definitions based on the manner in which social resources are organized Social resources are understood to be a social type of capital in like manner to physical, material, human (Schultz 1961, Becker 1993) and cultural
9 (Bourdieu 1977, 1986) capital; capital assets that can be produced, utilized, or invested for desired outcomes The f ourth chapter will consist of a discussion section and a conclusion T he discussion section will begin with a cursory look at possible scenarios that might unfold related to efforts to achieve a definitional consensus for the concept of social capital ; including the opt ion of abandoning the assumption that links social resources with capital Following this perusal, a more in depth investigation of possible link between the problems of multiple definitions, measurement issues, causal factor o mission errors, and tautology to the assumption that social capital is a resource will be undertaken In the conclusion, after a brief recap and reflection related to the scope of this paper I will also consider the direction the concept might take i f it is re designed to avoid tying social resources with capital However, the most I will do is to make some alternative suggestions for that re design leaving the possible evolution of the concept and the empirical research that must surely be required to gr ound any viable alternative to future sc holarly works
10 CHAPTER II REVIEW OF SOCIAL CAPITAL LITERATURE The purpose of this chapter will be to follow and also delve into the unfolding progression of social capital literature, beginning from the concepts inception and then taking the reader into current times. It will be broken into two sections with the first one surveying the sketchy and initial uses of the concept of social capital that occurred from Marx ( [ 1953 ]1973, [1867 ]1976 ) through Loury (1977, 1981, 1989 ) and second section probing into a particular and distinctive usage pattern that emerged from the 1980s forward where scholarship was aligned within one of two tracks that I have labeled utilitarian and cooperative This section will also chronicle the underlying assumptions that led to the proliferation of the types of social capital literature which fit within those two tracks L iterature utilizing the concept of social capital covered in the first section of this chapter occurred on an infrequent and sporadic basis carried no obviously discernable pattern s of usage and represented isolated theoretical attempts that they were not picked up and spread by their peers There was minimal cooperation or collusion amongst socia l capital scholars throughout t hat time period. With hindsight, it can be conceded that these early works d o contain certain underdeveloped and immature versions of themes and conceptualizations related to social capital that were later expanded upon by social capital theorists However, at the time of their historical origins, none of the premises that were being advance d were extensively developed, expanded upon nor even noticed within the greater academic community These premises can perhaps stan d as heralds of future
11 efforts but they were not appreciated very much at the time of their genesis. The following nine scholars constitute a fairly complete list of all existing works that I could uncover that utilized the concept of social capital prior to the 1980s : Marx ( [ 1953 ]1973, [1867 ]1976 ), Dewey (1900, 1909, 1915 and 1934 ), Hanifan (  199 0), Seeley, Sim, Loosley (1956), Dub Howes, and McQueen (1957), Jacobs (1961), Homans (1974), Bourdieu (1977, 1986) and Loury (1977, 1981, 1989 ) As is easily discernable, social capital was not a widely used or appreciated concept and it left a very small footprint in the arena of social theory That pattern changed when Bourdieu (1977, 1986) introduced his capital theory which contained a triune v ersion of capita l consisting of economic, cultural, and social forms and which represented the first attempts to systematize the concept However, while Bourdieu concept of multiple capitals captured the imagination of social scientists, his interpretation and definition of so cial capital has had a lesser impact on subsequent social capital scholarship The honor and designation of having initiated the usage pattern s which are prevalently featured in current social capital literature belongs t o a small cadre of scholars including Lin (198 2, 2001), Flap and DeGraff (1986 ), Coleman (1987, 1988, 1990), and Flap ( 1988, 2002 ) T his chapter will delve into the progression that evolved and characteristics that exist within the social capital arena of social theory Initial Social Capital Literature One early use of the term social capital (gesellschaftliche Kapital), can be found in Marx ( [ 1953 ]1973, [1867 ]1976 ) Capital Volume I seems to refer to the accumulation of a : compositions in all branches of production gives us the composition of the total social
12 capital of a country . [ 1867] 1976:762 763 ) As well as referring to total social capital, Marx ( 1976:776) He defines individual capital s as: Every individual capital is a larger or smaller concentration of means of production, with a corresponding command over a One addition al point was that Marx suggests that accumulated subsections of social capital can be held by capitalist s : Secondly : the part of the social capital domiciled in each particular sphere of production is divided among many capitalists who confront each other as mutually independent and competitive commodity producers . . In any given branch of industrial c entralization would reac h its extreme limit if all the individual capitals invested there were fused into a single capital. In a given society this limit would be reached only when the entire social capital was united in the hands of either a single capita list or a single capitalist company. ( 1867] 1976:776 779 ) This social fund or social accumulation of capital understanding of the con cept of social capital was also advanced by political economists such as Clark, Sidgwick, Marshall and Bellamy ( Farr 2004: 19 25) As s ocial capital is just describe the basic flow of the theory to provide some for Marx theory which includes multiple types of capital and functions at a variety of levels Marx did not see capital as a thing but rather a concept and a process which contained many dimensions and facets He states that the first form in which capital appears is money utilized in the exchanging of commodities present in merchant capital, what Samuelson and Nordhaus (2005 :29 ) would call the products market, which he considers to be the most basic type of economic activity is the first form of capital; in which it has as y et by no means become the foundation of
13 production [ 1953 ]1973:253) Onto this basic foundation, Marx then adds industrial capital and incorporates the role of raw materials, instruments of labor or machinery, and human labour in the production process ending with the product : The end of the process is the product in which the raw material appears as bound up with labour, and in which the instrument of labour has likewise, transposed itself from a mere possibility into a reality by having be come a real conductor of labour . . All three moments of the process, the material, the i nstrument, and labour, coincide in the neutral result the product (Marx, [ 1953 ] 1973:300) Social capital is introduced when Marx scales his basics ideas to national and cross national level s which he is comfortable doing since he views capital as quite fluid : . capital is not a fixed magnitude, but a part of social wealth which is elastic, and constantly fluctuates with the division of surplus (Marx ( 1976:758) does reflect reinforce, and attest to the grand scope and capacity of his work Farr (2004 ) found that Dewey used the term social capital in four publications ( 1900, 1909, 1915 and 1934 ) and that those usages alluded to accumulated intellectual and cultural knowledge (2004:17) The following quote is taken from writings of Dewey that were published in The Elementary School Record in 1900 : . t hese subjects are social in a double sense. They repr esent the tools which society has evolved in the past as the instruments of its intellectual pursuits. They [also] represent the keys which will unlock to the child the wealth of social capital which lies beyond the possible range of his limited individua l experience. (Farr 2004:17) Dewey advocated that leaders and educators must convey this knowledge to their those young people who are disenfranchised due to race or gender He promoted a community based approach to education that would enmesh the student in cooperative learning rather than the traditional approach of
14 individualized mechanical memorization of reading, writing, and arithmetic (he preferred the terms of language, literature and numbers) He proclaimed t hat this new approach would allow each student to develop their innate interests and talents, characterized as underinvested capital, which would then be contributed for the betterment of society (Farr 2004). Hanifan ([ 1920 ]1990 ) equates social capital with emotions such as good will friendship, compassion, and brotherly love and saw it as a necessary catalyst in the development of community level service and benefits In his view, when neighbors enjoy company and participate in community g atherings such as agricultural fairs, school exhibits dances, school improvement discussions, and Christmas parties, they generate social capital Hanifan argues that once a community has bonded socially it will naturally follow that their accumulated so cial capital can be directed towards projects such a s agricultural and other adult education programs, contributing to a war campaign or even collecting funds for rebuilding road s efforts that will improve the lives of their neighbors and themselves In t he following quote, Hanifan uses the concept of social capital in the context of community development within rural West Virginia. U sing the state of West Virginia as a model, he argues that social activities held in schools or community centers were need ed to revive rural and village life and stem the tide of individual and family is olation, ineffective community cooperation and breakdown. He defines social capital as the emotional bonds such as sympathy and concern that people form though social interactions :
15 no reference is made here to the usual except in a figurative sense We do not refer to real estate or to personal property or to cash, but rather to that in life which tends to make these tangible substances count for most in the daily lives of a people; namely, good will, fellowship, sympathy, and social intercourse among the individuals and families who make up a soci al unit the rural community, whose logical center in most cases is the school . . First, then, there must by an accumulation of community social capital . . then by skillful leadership this social capital may be directed towards the general improvement of the community well being. (Hanifan [ 1920 ]1990 :78 ) He was particularly concerned with intangible types of social factors that adhered to and were generated by dynamic interrelationships The concept seemed to disappear from usage until 1956 when it was used in the book Crestwood Heights : A Study of the Culture of Suburban Life written by Seeley, Sim and Loosley (1956) This case study followed residents of a n archetypal middle to upper middle class suburban community located somewhere in Canada. Seeley, Sim and Loosely identify social capital as forms of status and prestige that were conferred or gained by community residents through thei r participation in social clubs, The prestige of a given association appears to be in direct proportion to the number and position of the stat us ey, Sim and Loosley 1956:299) The process of status acquisition was governed by covert rules of engagement involving money, occupation and family reputation and was very hierarchical. The Canadian ut ilization of the concept continued the following year in a royal commission report on housing written by Dub Howes, and McQueen (1957) where a something durable which helps to produce something else (p. 1). The authors then suggest that the something else could be either goods or services including those goods that can be consumed or assets, such as machinery, used in further production The study further asserts that capital assets are divided into three
16 ca tegories, indus trial, housing and social, with social capital assets being institutions or infrastructure components such as schools, churches, hospitals, roads, airports, sewer/water system s, and government run department ( 1957: 1 2). It can be understood that social ca pital, which can be built and operated by public or private funding, consist of those assets which provide services intended to benefit society as a whole, and that cannot be subsumed under the category of industrial nor the goods that they produce Jacob s (1961), an activist for urban life, viewes social capital as a f orce that is built up due to interpersonal and group dynamics as well as by the networks themselves using it to describe it existence within multi dimensional, intricate networks that she observed within city neighborhoods which then were activated to contribute to community based self governance: . i f self government in the place is to work, underlying any float of population must be a continuity of people who have forged neighborhood networks These Whenever the capital is lost, from whatever cause, the income from it disappears, never to return until and unless new capital is sl owly and chancily accumulated. (1961: 138) Jacobs lived on Hudson Street in New York City before her immigrating to Canada and championed the cause of urban community grass root street neighborhood associations, often in opposition to well intended, bureaucratically designed urban renewal projects Her book is peppered with stories of people and shop owners who insured the safety of their neighbo rhood streets and also neighborhood and district cooperation that were successful in thwarting potentially destructive neighborhood renewal projects t hrough their lobbyi ng campaigns Homan s (1974) asserts that a successful transition from small groups to more complex groupings such as those found within a market based, industrial society require d
17 the use of both financial and social capital For Homan s capital anything that allows them to postpone actions leading to some immediate reward in order to u n dertake others whose rewards, t hough potentially greater, are both uncertain and 361). Although, Homan s does differentiate between economic and social types of capital as seen in the following quote : social or economic enabled him to undertake the innovation . he also tends to blur the distinction between these two forms of capital in his usage of the concept social capital (p.365) The f ollowing quote elucidates his conceptualization of social capital, which interestingly, includes financial elements like money: They require some form of social capital before men can attempt them at all for their payoffs at best are not immediate but deferred T he capital must increasingly take the form of generalized rewards like money or status, generalized in the sense that leaders can distribute them so as to induce people to perform some mix of a wide var iety of activities. ( 19 74 :363) Thus, Homan s includes various resources that are created and exchanged in a social context in his conceptualization of social capital, such as well disciplined soldiers, surplus land, food, status, money, goods, services and some form of moral code such as trust sanctions, and norms He suggests that social capital is required in order to entice individual s to move beyond their selfish nature or pa rticipate in social interaction He reasons that if individuals can be assured that they will receive personal benefit s and be rewarded for their actions, they will then be willing to make personal sacrifices or contribute to other benefit ing projects at the civic level (19 74 ) Bourdieu (1977, 1986) capital theory utilizes the concept of social capit al in a theoretical system which entertains the idea that there could be multiple capitals
18 including forms that are usually considered to be outside of the traditional marketplace setting. Bourdieu the notion that capital existed in three primary guises; economic, cultural and social capita l, although economic capital was understood to be the root and fundamental guise amongst the three From that perspective he argues that cultural and social capital could always be converted into economic capital, although the ease and process of this conversion may require subterfuge and diplomatic skill in order to avoid dismantling the structures and networks that give access to an d possession of the immaterial forms of capital (1986) definition of social capital focuses on the aggregation of resources belonging to members of a group : Social capital is t he aggregate of the actual or potential resources which are linked to possession of a durable network of more or less institutionalized relationships of mutu al acquaintance and recognition or in other words, to membership in a group which provides each of its members with the backing of the coll ectively of the word (1986:248 249) Bourdieu views the social form of capital as a phenomenon that was directly tied to an ship in a group or collective A collective or group, usually understood to be exclusive and homogeneous in nature, could be formed on the basis of various intra group exchanges either material or symbolic, and also enhanced due to a variety of sociall the name of a family, a class, or a tribe or of a schoo l, a party, etc (1986:249) As a result of this type of human aggregation Bourdieu argues that all re sourc es, including financial, cultural, and symbolic as sets possessed by all members of that group gave the group or class a symbolic and literal competitive advantage in acquiring monetary profits, goods, services, controlling scarce resources, and which could be converted into political and class power. Som e examples
19 of a symbolic capital would include the trust, honor, prestige, rights, duties, physical stre ngth, energy of social dynamics, solidarity, social position, power and abili ty to dominate and even exploit or be exploited, if the symbolic capital was weak Exclusive groups such as alumni of an Ivy League university or extended members of the Kennedy family benefit from this type of status phenomena Bourdieu argues that social capital gives members of a group a credential that car ries with it the potential for credit and benefit, the quantity or volume being dependent on the size of the network and the assets held within that network This aggregation of resources is of an interesting nature, a sort of conceptual and thereafter sym bolic consolidation of financial symbolic, and cultural assets rather than the literal grouping of all of a assets into a single bank account partnership, or place Thus, personal worth is substantially multiplied in value because they can also benefit from and quantity of resources (1986) Thus, new imm igrants with no personal credit history could have access to loans from wealthier members of their specific ethnic or cultural group. Another example of these phenomena would be the social expectation of status and wealth for the British peerage even if individual peers might actually be impoverished. This is also the idea behind the good network or that s in getting ahead perso nally and professionally. Loury (1977, 1981, 1989 ) utilizes the concept of social capital in the context of racial discrimination and equal opportunity legislative politics/policies and judicial
20 actions, asserting that such actions and policies do not address the wider community bias and intergenerational impact on the development of marketable skill acquisition within the black community For L oury, social capital represents the socio economic advantages of kin that influence the k inds of professional training and opportunities pursued by succeeding generation s This refers to types of educational and professional training pursued and achieved by parents In the case of minorities, while personal factors such as talent, initiative, and ambitions are all relevant, the impact and influence of intergenerational inheritance as well as the attitudes and behaviors of the dominant social majority, especially if imbued with bigotry, must not be underestimated Persons begin life with endowm ents of what mig social capital nontransferable advantages of birth that are conveyed by parental behaviors bearing on later life productivity ( 1989 :272) Loury contends that equal opportunity politics or policies do not counterbalance t he socioeconomic backstory of historical and community based racial bigotry for members of a minority social group His socioeconomic model of income determination tracks the well as the presence of racial bias at the community level, with investments in human capital (Schultz 1961, Becker 1993) and the acquisition of market valued characteristics, fe Human capital (Schultz 1961 Becker 1993) refers to human investments in their own educating and skills training that result in long term impact on their professional and job positioning, wages and individual financial gains
21 The Utilitarian and Cooperative Tracks From the 1980s a conceptualization emerged that advanced the construction of an interface between the realm s of the social and the economic in the case of social capital this was done through linking c apital with social resources Alt hou gh the works of Hanifan ([1 920 ]1990 ), Jacobs (1961), and Homans (1974) may have influenced the rise of this approach in later social capital research it is also likely that work within in the greater social science community also had an impact This in fluence could include social anthropologists such as Kapferer, and Boissevain (Flap 2002 :32), (19 73 1985 ) work s on the importance of strong and weak ties in relationship job search es and the embeddedness of economic action within social relationships, and (1981) Transaction Cost approach, all of whom investigated various types of interface s between realm of the economic and the realm of the social. Whether or not a theoretical link to past so cial capital or social science research can be ascertained it can be documented that a small cadre of social capital theorists; Lin (1982, 2001), Flap and DeGraff (1986), Coleman (1987, 1988, 1990), and Flap ( 1988, 2002 ) did develop an economic social link through their association of capital with social resources, and it this conceptualization has since emerged as a dominant player in the field : The logical thing to do is to interpret personal networks as resources, analogous to these other resources, to treat them as a sort of capital that is instrumental in reaching general goals. (Flap 2002 :34) The definition of capital that I will use in this paper is a generic one found in the eighteenth edition of an economics textbook by Samuelson and Nordhaus ( 2005) which claims that capital refers to goods that are used in the process of production :
22 Capital (or capital goods) consists of those durable produced goods that are in turn used as productive inputs for further production . . There are three major categories of capital goods : structures (such as factories and homes), equipment (consumer durable goods like automobiles and producer durable equipment like machine tools and computers), and inventories or inputs and outputs ( such as cars s). (Samuelson and Nordhaus, 2005:267) Social capital theorists who link capital and social resources assert that social resources are a type of asset or capital good found within and produced by social relationships that can be utilized for immediate consumption or reinvested in those relationships for the sake of future production From the 1980s I observed a variety of economic social interface which linked capital with social resources. I also noticed that there was a tendency for scholars to iden tify with one of two types of motivations for the acquisition and use of those capital like social resources resulting in works that, by in large, aligned under one of th ose two approaches One motivation suggested utilitarianism and competition while the other suggested that actors sought to use social resources to further cooperative ventures and public good outcomes Utilitarianism refers to a theory developed by Bernoulli and Bentham that assumes actors as consumers who are rational beings that, if give n a choice, will always choose to pursue their optimum benefit (Samuelson and Nordhaus 2005:86 87 ) The cooperative motivation assumed norms of reciprocation, was other oriented, and included the possibility a self benefit denying altruism By cooperative, I am referring to both the action of two or more people or groups working together for some common purpose and also a willingness to work together with others. By public good, I am referring to a good that supersedes the level of the individual and provid es benefits to a collective or the public This type of good can be provided by governments and also by individual and group activities such as volunteer programs, cooperatives, and
23 philanthropy Examples would include roads, national defense, firework dis plays, fresh air and water, and safer neighborhoods due to neighborhood watch programs In this section, as well as summarizing social capital literature post 1980, I will also align the works I review under one of two tracks, utilitarian or cooperative T he works that I describe in this chapter were chosen because they were either written by scholars who are recognized as having made significant contributions to the field of social capital, were selected as representative examples of the utilitarian and c ooperative tracks, or both In relationship to the utilitarian and cooperative tracks, the articles I cho o se to present in this chapter were drawn from a sample of articles that I reviewed (N=90) I assigned an article to the utilitarian track if the use o f social capital refer red to actors utilizing social capital acquired from within their social interactions and networks for the purpose of securing some personal organizational, or group benefit Aligning an article within the cooperative track was indic ated if social capital was seen to refer to the utilization of social capital in order to produce some desired collective action and benefit, or the production of a public good(s) Within my sample, I did find that the two tracks were fairly balanced, wit scholarship which seem to fit within the utilitarian track to 54 percent for those scholars based on my personal and subj ective review, assessment, and categorization of the articles I sampled and the results can only provide a general picture of the spread and alignment of articles that can be found in existing social capital literature Lin (1982 2001), suggests that social capital is indeed a form of capital and that it consisted of resources that are converted into capital as the result of action filled
24 processes that resulted in prod uce d profits (2001:55). I aligned his work with the utilitarian track because he ar gues that actions are driven by rationalism, or the desire to acquire returns that fulfill either instrumental or expressive personal needs Examples of instrumental needs would include wealth, power and reputation and expressive needs would include physical and mental hea lth, and life satisfaction (Lin 2001:246) For Lin, social resources are valued goods that include positional resources symbolic goods and political resources ; are understood to be associations ; a nd influenced and constrained by various structural ingredients (2001:43 45). Social resources are transformed into social capital through interactive processes, utilizing instrumental or expressive motivations to produce instrumental or expressive returns I nstrumental motivations cause an actor to seek resources for additional gain while expressive motivations cause an actor to maintain their existing resources (2001:45 46) In both case s social capitals are understood in relationship to their use value Lin suggests that expressive motivations follow a homophily principle where actors tend to engage with others who are in a similar social group or position in a hierarchical structure to gain support and sympathetic interactions Instrumental motivations are typically asymmetric between those situated i n lower or higher positions with in a hierarchical structure Exchanges from lower to higher positions are usually instigated by an actor seeking to gain social resources beyond those they already control such as gaining a new job or advancing their social stature Exchanges that go from a higher positioned to a lower one may be undertaken in order to reinforce an existing power base; legitimate social prestige, reputation, and esteem; seek to el evate the lower positioned actor in order to converting them to an equilateral position with the
25 formerly higher positioned actor ; all such actions would ultimately be to further protect existing resources (homophily principle ) through such exchanges (2001:55 77) Lin argues that resources which belong to the category of social capital are not inherently capital but become social capital when they were utilized by an actor to acquire benefits Lin suggests that hierarchical positioning, tie strength, homogeneous vs. heterogeneous group characteristics, and bridging are relevant structural elements that influence the capitalization process Lin perceives social capital as both an outcome of production and a casual factor in that production process. He advances his argument by introducing a model for the capitalization of social resources which suggests the process occurs through three phases of : inequality, referring to the unequal distribution of resources d ue to structural and positional variations; capitalization, describing the role of human choice constrained by structure in accessing and mobilizing resources; and e ffects referring to the instrumental and expressive outcomes and benefits that result from the capitalization process (2001:246 Figu re 13.1) It is clear that Lin viewes efforts to acquire social capital as driven by utilitarian motivations I aligned the work of Flap and De Graaf ( 1986 ) and Flap ( 1988, 2002 ) with the utilitarian track since they are concerned with how an network could be mobilized to enable them to acquire both material and immaterial resources Th eir use of the concept was part of a r esearch programme which broadened network theory beyond a structuralism perspective by allowing for internal motivators within an actor such as the drive to achieve personal goals, the primary one being to realize the socially conditioned good life or status and well being. In line with t his
26 perspective, t hey suggest that even within existi ng structural restraints, actor s make instrumental choices to optimize their chances at achieving the goals of a good life Resources factor in to this dynamic due to the notion that actors who are richly endowed with resources (economic, political, s ymbolic or cultural, and social ) are better equipped to realize their life goals ( Flap 2002 ). For Fla p ( 1988, 2002 ) social capit al consists of three elements that could be manipulated by the goal oriented actor for their personal ends : Social capital is made up of at least three elements: the number of others prepared or obliged to help ego when called upon to do so, the extent to which they are ready to help, ( 2002 :36) The core of their social capital theory is grounde d on two propositions; the social resources hypothesis and the investment hypothesis. The social resources hypothesis suggests that social capital directly correlates with that The investment hypothesis suggests that people invest in social capital when it allows them to achieve instrumental ends Social networks are seen as pivotal assets which are crucial in enabling actors to achieve their instrumental goals (2002:33 34) Coleman ( 1987, 1988, 1990 ) work is allied within the utilitarian track because of his assertion that actors act independently, are purpose driven to maximize utility and self interest and that this motivation drives actors to utilize social resources, or social capital, found within relationships and networks in order to gain personal benefits He stresses that actors continually negotiated and re negotiated within hierarchical, flat or subordinate relationships and collectives, mindful of normative values and possible sanctions resulting in compromise, dominance by and or success in pursuit of the
27 maximum achievement of their personal interests and benefits The definition given by Coleman for social capital was: Social capital is defined by its function It is not a single entity, but a variety of different entities having two characteristics in c ommon : They all consist of some aspect of a social structure, and they facilitate certain actions of individua ls who are within the structure . social capital inheres in the structure of relations between persons and among persons. (1990:302) social capitals, while probably not limited to, included the following resources : obligations and expectations, information potential, norms and effective sanctions, authority relations/rights of control and public good Further, Coleman posits t hat social capital can be created and reinforced by closure due to trust, stability, investment and ideology (such as religious altruistic mandates) while affluence and government directed social services or aid can depreciate social capital. Coleman does not specify the specific interests of actors that can be achieved through the use of various social capitals, although the implication is that they could be quite broad, subjective, or objective (1990:300 321) Putnam (1993, 1995 a, 1995b, 2000) work has had a significant impac t on the popularization of social capital scholarship It is characterized by a decided focus on cooperative social relationships which is why I have align ed his work with the cooperative track He asserts that social capital is composed of trust worthiness and norms, created through and by networks and social connectedness also seen as a form of social capital leads to ci vic involvement and activism : . the core idea of social capital theory is that social networks have value . social capital refers to connections among individuals social networks and the norms of reciprocity and trustworthiness that arise from them In that sense social capital is closely related to what The difference is social calls attention to the fact that civic virtue is most powerful when embedded in a dense network of reciprocal social rela tions. ( 2000:18 19)
28 One hemes is that social capital is pr oduced through social networks and associations whether of the homogeneous sort based on kinship or friendship or the preferred type of associational affiliations that cut across religious ethnic, racial, or community differences Social capital is understood to be a resource with restorative power, likened to a panacea that bind s a society together providing the catalyst for vibrant citizen involvement in the greater civil society He sees value in many forms of community and social interaction, su ggesting that kin, friend and neighbor connections provide d stepping stones to broader civic involvement. Putnam paints an alarming picture of a n American society faltering due to its diminishing stock of social capital, a state which he traced to the dec line of socializing by the individual: picture an individual retreating from associations and fellowships of all sorts, perched on a sofa in from of a glowing TV screen, entirely alone. In Bowling Alone (2000) Putnam is concerned with showing, based on a massive amount of empirical data that America is experiencing escalating deficit s of social capital due to its swing towards the privatization of their once active social time that it is moving away from k in or friendship based gatherings, associational membership and community involvement He dedicates a section of that book to det ermining why this trend exists and suggests that the pressure of time and money suburban sprawl, electronic en tertainment, esp ecially TV, g ene rational lifestyle changes and other miscellaneous causes as possible culprits Putnam takes a prescriptive stance in his use of the concept of social capital, and he is known for actively championing the need for America to build up its social fabric of associational life so that it can build up its stock of social capital we need to cre ate new structures and policies (public and private) to facilitate re
29 (Putnam 2000:403). He showcases Progressive Era and suggests that period enthusiasm was grounded on the lar ge number of associations that also existed during that era. Putnam pointed to the late nineteenth and early twentieth century proliferation of social clubs and civic associations at every l evel of the American society Further, he refers to examples of in formal and non political groups associations that morphed and redefined themselves as organizations g group but which subsequently adopted a social agend a which included projects where members housing codes, safer drinking water, workplace protection for women, and services for the po or, sick disabled, and children 2000:396) The outputs or goals that Putnam suggests could be achieved due to a wealth of social capital include: high quality educational systems, educational and social health and welfare of children; safe and productive neighborhoods; economic prosperity; health and happiness; and a vibra nt democratic society characterized by the civic engagement of its citizens. Colle tta and Cullen (2000) work studied the concept of social capital in relationship to violent conflicts in developing nations The pu rpose of their study was to find a way t o prevent or hasten recovery from such destructive occurrences due t o the insights gleaned from that concept I aligned it with the cooperative track as it advocated for the application of social capita l as a way to foster the rebuilding of decimated socie ties in former war torn nations through community and governmental cooperation Field studies that were conducted in Cambodia, Rwanda, Guatemala, and Somalia were re examined with the benefit of a social capital framework derived from the theoretical
30 work of Granovetter (1973), Coleman (1988), Fukuyama (1995) Uphoff ( 2000 ), Putnam(1993), and Woolcock (1998), among others The definition of social capital that Colletta and Cullen utilize at includes both a vertical component for state and community interconnectivity and horizontal component which emphasizes the necessity of horizontal community connectedness : . the norms, values, and social relations that bond communities together as well as the bridges between communal group s (civil society) a nd the state . systems that lead to or result from social and economic organization, such as worldviews, trust, reciprocity, informational and economic exchange, and informal and form al groups and associations. (2000:4 6 ). On the basis of their study the authors argue that modern day peace builders must develop strategies for restoring social capital, including social cohesion, strong social bonds, and trust as well as consider ing how to bridge social divisions and other forms of social polarization and disparities They recommend that national and community rebuilding efforts need to be inclusive of both vertical and horizontal social factors to e nsure institutional and organizati onal integrity within an at risk society including the re establishment of legal and social norms, a fair and independent judiciary and media; and cooperative and balanced social mechanisms between the state and local commun ity governance, what they term vertical and horizontal social capital (2000). A key concept in this study was social cohesion, which they consider to be an overset of social capital They suggest that social cohesion requires the minimization of unequal social divisions, social resources such as trust and norms of reciprocity, as well as the presence of a government that will mitigate social discord :
31 Social cohesion refers to two broader intertwined features of society: (1) t he absence of latent conflict whether in the form of income/wealth inequality, racial/ethnic tensions, disparities in political participation, or other forms of polarization and ( 2) the presence of strong social bonds measured by levels of trust a nd norms of reciprocity, the abun dance of associations that b ridge social divisions (civic society), and the presence of institutions of conflict management, e.g., responsive democracy, an independent judiciary, and an independent media (2000:12) The authors that the intersection between vertica l social capital consisting of the state vs communities/individuals, and horizontal social capital consisting of homogenous bonding vs. cross cutting ties, represents the optimu m model for social cohesion, a proactive approach to shield vulnerable societies from violent conflict (2000:14) The 1994 genocide in Rwanda, where 800,000 died over a three month time period was cited as an example of the breakdown of the optimum model This genocide was traced to the presence of extreme tribal animosities which existed between the Tutsi and Hutu that were fanned by inv asiv e interference of the state. One example of this type of interference given was the Radio et Television Libre des Mille Collins broadcasts which put public pressure on the Genocidaries to do the work of killing Tutsi, propagandized as their civic duty (p. 42) According to these authors r ecovery from Rwanda genocide or other atrocities must involve rebuilding a democratic, balanced and unbiased, political, legal, and communications in frastructure that utilize vertical social capital and also the re development of civil society fabric through the promotion of cross cutting linking through utilizing horizontal social capital Ostrom and Ahn (2003) whose work I also placed in the cooperative track suggest that the concept of social capital should be linked to collective action issues. Their definition and usage of the concept seemed to locate them squarel y within the cooperative track That definition suggests that the three core social resources that make
32 up social capital are trustworthiness, networks, and formal and i nformal rules or institutions : We have selected three broad forms of social capital that are particularly important in the study of collective action: ( 1) trustwort hiness, (2) networks, and (3) formal and informal rules or institutions. We view social capital as an attribute of individuals and of their relationships that enhances their ability to solve collective action problems. ( 2003:xiv) Ostrom and Ahn argue that a viable theory of social capital must b e grounded on what they label as second generation theories of collective action or theories that acknowledge a wider spectrum of human motivation beyond the universal selfishness presuppositions. They labeled them second generation theories because they were developed subsequent to initial collective action theories that were grounded in rationalism and utilitarian motivations. They point to a body of empirical research carried out in the field and through experime nts that reject the universal selfishness assumption, noting that act ors have been found to exhibit various degrees and amounts of concern for the benefit of others Much of the article discusses the three forms of social capital included in the which they stress are needed to foster solutions to collective action problems and to encourage substantiated collective action. They see trust, which they consider an outcome of social capital, as a pivotal link between forms of social capital and successful collective action. They draw on Gamb : particular level of the subjective probability with which an agent assess that another agent or group of agents w 0 3:xvi) For trust to emerge, they note that a trustor must be and have the reputation of behaving in a trustworthy manner, an internal characteristic of a particula r actor, leading to mutual trust between the trustee
33 and trustor Ostrom and Ahn consider trust and trustworthiness to be significant elements for the norm of reciprocity The analysis implies that for reciprocity to prevail as a pattern of social interact ion trustworthy individuals must band together: individuals who are willing to cooperate with others constitute only a small minority of a establish (2003:xxi) This type of network would also be considered a form of social capital Ostrom and Ahn also consider institutions, which they define as formal and informal rules of a game, to be a form of social capital They include un der the category of formal rules: egulations, and court decisions and so forth are formal rules (2003:xxii) Informal rules refer to rules in use that are devised at the grassroots level, and take into . environmental conditions, cultural traditions, monitoring, sanctioning, an d conflict resol The authors point to irrigation systems in Nepal that were successful due to the deploy ment of this type of rule, giving as an example farmer participant who work ed out incentive problems through vigilant monitoring, and the application of sanctions, factors often not effectively dealt with by a purely vertical and technical approach Succes sful social action projects usually involve a blending of both types of rules, with both playing important roles in fostering and sustaining social cooperation. Knoke examines the impact of corporate level social capital generated by patt erns of corporate alliances and was especially concerned with how these alliances increased business advantage I aligned this article with the utilitarian track even
34 though it is concerned with cooperation and corporate alliances because the motivation and purpose behind those alliances was individual and organizational profits and benefits The set of resources, tangible or virtual, that accrue to a corporate player l relationships, facilitating the attainment of goals. (Knoke 2009:1694). Some of the suggested and potential resources that could be garnered through formal partnerships included the following : financial assets and extens ion of credit; timely information, scientific knowledge, or expert advice, proprietary technologies or patents; marketing expertise or penetration into new countries and cultures; organizational prestige, status, or corporate or brand reputations; and trus tworthiness and l ow risk (moral hazards). (Knoke 2009:1696) This article identified cooperative behaviors that could be occur between corporate partnerships and addressed the importance of partners minimizing behaviors that would undermine direct, indirect, formal, and informal corporate connections Some cooperative behaviors could include : to conduct basic research, dev elop new products, integrate existing products, expand into international markets, formulate industry standards, and even undertake ( 2009:1696) Behaviors that needed to be minimized include d intra company illegitimate liability that might stem from abuses and misuses occurring at the individual level such as management opportunism or bullying, in order to reinforce inter partner solidarity and trust That would also include minimizing corpora te level selfish actions, at least at the point of interface, as well as requiring that social resources such as intentions grounded on norms of reciprocity, equity, cooperation, and trust must be present and shared.
35 Much of this study tracked patterns of alliance formation, citing a study that was carried out between the years of 1991 and 2000 The parameters for partnerships and alliance studied required that the arrangements be made between at least two partners that maintained their legal integrity, sha red tasks, management, and benefits, and technological or product advances i n their particular industry (p. 1695) They looked at following industries : pictures and sound recording, broadcasting and telecommunications, information services and data processing services, manufacturing industries, computers, electronic products, a nd semiconductor machinery (pp. 1698 1699 ) They found that there is indeed a trend towards strategic alliances, at least in the years and companies followed, with an increase in the mean number of alliances from 1.2 at the beginning of the study to 4.5 in the final year What this tells us is that the trend towards social capital p roducing behaviors at the corporate level is cutting edge and relevant Whether such a trend will continue remains to be seen, but one take away could be enhancing the attractiveness of social capital theory to the meso level, especially as a possible stra tegy for companies that want to enhance their performance and gain a competitive advantage One unexpected outcome of my review of social capital literature was the observation of the presence of two tracks within social capital sc holarship, the utilitarian and cooperative tracks The main purpose of this chapter was to provide an overview of the past and current usages of the concept of social capital, including a look at key scholars who have utilized the concept in their works B ut, in addition, I have also used this chapter to highlight the two tracks of the literature, a pattern focused on the purposes
36 and motivations that propelled actors to utilize social resources In the next chapter, I will turn my attention to the primary focus of this paper, that of presenting the four approaches that have been used by scholars in their efforts to define the concept of social capital
37 CHAPTER III FOUR APPROACHES USED TO DEFINE SOCIAL CAPITAL The purpose of this chapter is to pursue an in depth explanation of the conceptual map of the four approaches used to define social capital that became apparent to me during the process of my investigation of social capital literature. As a result of that perusal I experienced firsthand th e massive number of seemingly dissimilar and divisive definitions of social capital which brought into sharp focus the substantial problem of definitional disunity that plagued the concept As I endeavored to make sense of the variety an d quantity of defin itions that from the outset had no seeming unifying elements, a conceptual map began to emerge This conceptual map began to develop as a result of my isolating a basic conceptual premise which assumed that social resources were the new form of capital co usins to physical, material, human (Schultz 1961, Becker 1993) and cultural capital (Bourdieu 1977, 1986) which was henceforth labeled as social capital and became the target of any and all definitional efforts From this point forward definitional effort set about to describe explain understand, and act upon the social resource or resources known as social capital. Taking this premise into consideration I observed and later isolated specific processes and elements that I found in all social capital def initions constructed since the 1980s Considering these observations, I then utilized the paradigms of structure, form, and to some degree content to design my conceptual map I used those paradigms because I deemed them to be flexible and detached enough as a basis to detect and reveal repeated usage patterns found in the formation and construction of social capital definitions Of pivotal importance in my
38 analysis was the clarification that the basic raw material used in the construction of social capita l definitions were social resources, especially since it is seen as a new form of capital likened to physical, material, human (Schultz 1961, Becker 1993) and cultural (Bourdieu 1977, 1986) capital. By raw material I mean that social resources are the com mon elements that are being structured, manipulated, formed, and acted upon within all social capital definitions. In this chapter I will identify and describe in more detail each of the four approaches in my conceptual map through utilizing examples from social capital literature. While this conceptual map does not limit the number of existing definitions, I do see it as a necessary preliminary step required to achieve that outcome Certainly until the scholarly community can get a handle on the massive an d ever increasing number of definitions for social capital it will be impossible to arrive at any definitional consensus or common understanding The conceptual map of fo ur approaches used to define social capital suggests that existing definitions of social capital have generally been formulated utilizing four distinct approaches that I have labeled discrete composite reductionist and social energy (Hirschman 1984) The discrete approach contains various materia l and immaterial resources that have been relabeled as social capital These numerous social capitals are isolated from each other, with each resource being considered autonomous and independent from each other T he composite approach consists of social resources that have been combined or subsumed into one overarching resource that has been subsequently labeled as social capital, in one of the following five ways: ( 1 ) various social resources are organized according to cate gories and subcategories; (2 ) an overarching resource that contains multiple resources that vary according to context and
39 ability to be accessed ; (3 ) a n overarching resources that contains a fi xed number of social resources that are listed in the definiti on ; (4 ) blend of the first, second, and third options ; or (5 ) a resource that I label ed a s stock referring to a set number of social resources, and flow referring to social resources that are created by the stock social resources, version (Krishna 2000 :73). In the reductionist approach one solitary social resource has been culled from the existing array of multiple social resources and that one social resource has been designated to be social capital The social energy (Hirschman 1984) version suggests that social capital is a form of energy that emanates from the giving and receiving action between social actors The examples gleaned from within social capital literature that will be found in this chapter will cover social capital scholarship from the 1 980s going forward since this was the point when the conceptualization of social capital as a resource began in earnest The synopsis of the four approaches to defining social capital is summarized in the table found below. TABLE 3.1 : FOUR APPROACHES TO DEFINING SOCIAL CAPITAL DISCRETE This approach features a varying number of autonomous, discernable and distinct resources. COMPOSITE In this approach, resources are subsumed into one overarching resource. It features the following versions: (1) Resources are organized according to categories and subcategories; (2) List of varying resources; (3) List of fixed resources; (4) Blending of a list and categories; (5) Stock (set list) and Flow (emergent) REDUCTIONIST Social Capital is reduced to one resource SOCIAL ENERGY Social Capital is a form of social energy
40 First Approach: Discrete Examples of the first approach of the social capital which I have labeled as discrete can be found in the scholarship of Lin (1982, 2001), Coleman (1987, 1988, 1990) and d e Souza Briggs (1997) This approach refers to an approach where various resources including but not limited to structures, environments and processes are considered independent ly Scholars who used this approach took c are to re label every unique social resource they identified as social capital For example, in this approach t rust, norms of reciprocity, status, and obligations would all be labeled as social capitals and considered separately, as autonomous, stand alone, unconnected, and totally self contained elements It would also be accurate to describe this approach as one that identifies and utilizes a multitude of detached social capitals. 2001) works, he asserts that various social resources assume a capital like nature and become social capital when utilitarian action applied to them in a marketplace setting and when a return is expected The capitalization process requires three elements: (1) resources are attributed with value, (2) resources are structurally embedded in society based on positions, authority, rules, and agents, (3), resources are capitalized after they were activated by being acted upon in a marketplace like setting and a return was generated (2001:29 ). The following is a partial list of soci al resources that Lin considers to be social capitals : prestige, authority, m aterial goods, knowledge, education, reputation, fame, club membership, famil y name, power, and social networks (2001 :43 45 ) Lin sees social capitals as assets created through ind ividual interactions
41 found in both asymmetric and symmetric network s althou gh he excludes resources such as culture, trust and no rms, from the concept (2001) Following is a list of social capitals identified by Coleman (1987, 1988, 1990) as resources found within social relations that foster obli gations and expectations; enhance information potential; and responsibilities; and public good, which is a unique type of resources considered to be an unexpected by product of directed action (1990:304 321 ) For ex ample, an knowledge of current political events could be a social capital resource when it is accessed by an actor in his network whose political knowledge is limited Coleman also applies the label of social capital to a ny prescriptive norm that grants status, honor, or other benefits to those individuals who act to benefit the interest of a collective instead of pursuing their own self benefit In all cases, social capital resources can only be found within social relations where actors are loca ted within hierarchical social structures, and those resource s qualif y as social capital s when their use results in valued outcomes to an The work of d e Souza Briggs (1997) provides us another example of t his approach to social capital definitions He suggests two basic uses for the resource: (1) a collection of resources likened to community support that could be accessed by people to get by, and (2) a quantity of resources that could be accessed by people to get ahead, furthering their economic and social status At the core of his approach is the premise that each social capital is a resource that can be utilized for a hoped for or expected benefit His definition of social capital is:
42 The term social capital has been used for about forty years to describe resources that are neither traditional capital (money or the things money buys) nor human capital (skills or know how) Social capital refers, then, to resources stored in human relation ships, whether casual or close . . Social capital is the stuff we draw on all the time, through our connections to a system of human relationships, to accomplish things that matter to us and t o solve everyday problems. (Pp. 111 112 ) At the micro level, de S ouza Briggs includes the following examples of autonomous and separate d social capital s that could be used by actors to get by : shared caregiving tasks, rides to church, and kinship s upport and shoulders to cry upon Mentors, scholarship aid, job referrals, and other forms of social influence, especially for those who have a deficit of advancement opportunities, would be examples of micro level social capital resources that people ac cess to get ahead At the meso level of organizations and systems of organizations, social capitals are autonomous resources generated within and between the actors within those organizations such as trust and focused efforts which help developers, government agencies and foundations to str etch scarce dollars appropriated for affordable housing systems The various re sources that de Souza identifies and that I have included in the discrete approach are considered to be value neutral, with value being decided based on the purpose guiding the management of the resources Second Approach: Composite I have assigned the composite label to the second approach to defining social capital This approach describes a usage pattern in which numerous resources are bundled together to create a new, autonomous, and stand alone resource identified as social capital This approach consists of the following versions: (1) resources are systematized utilizing categories and subcategories (1) varying numbers of resources; (2) a fixed number of resources; (4 ) a n approach which blends the first three approaches blending of
43 the lists and categories; or (5) an approach which blends the first four approaches and also contains a resource caused by those resources, a stock and flow approach (K rishna, 2000 :73) The examples used in this section will ) understanding of social capital which consists of categories and subcategories; (2) Foley and Edwards (1999) version of social capital which consists of an entity whose component soci al resources vary depending on context ; (3) Meadowcroft and Pennington (2007) understanding of social capital as an entity composed of a fixed list with a complex orga nization of social resources; and (5) 1995b, ) version social capital as both a cause and an effect I have identified two assumptions that I contend have contributed additional nuances to the composite approach The first assumption suggests that social capital is a complex, multi dimensional and faceted resource that in some cases is composed of various components In this conceptualization, social capital is understood to be a resource that is constru cted through the c ombination of various resources The following quote from Flap ( 1988, 2002 ) speaks to this particular assumption: The last issue is that social capital is not a one dimensional all purpose resource, but has distinguishable components that may be generally useful or goal specific. ( Flap 2002 : 49) An additional assumption attributes various social resources with the power to foster a resultant social capital resource which speaks to the fifth version of this second approach In this ontological approach, social capital is perceived of as an entity that exists in itself as continuant, fully existent in time without temporal parts and also as an
44 occurrent, unfolding with temporal parts (Jansen Forthcoming). From this perspective social capital is both a causal entity and a created consequence. Social capital is an entity, consisting of all expected future benefits derived, not ( Flap 2002 :37) I found this vers ion asserts that social capital is composed of networks, norms, and trustworthiness and it is also created by those networks, norms, and trustworthiness The emergent form of social capital, wh ich he conceives as a public good such as widespread civic engagement and civic virtue, is also understood to be an entity that can be collected in a reservoir or even taken to the bank Putnam suggests that this resultant entity spills over from informal (bowling leagues or block parties) and formal (civic and social activism) associational life T he work of ) provide s an example of the version of the composite approach where the social capital entity is organized according to categories and sub categories in this case those categories consist of structure and cognition He defines social capital as an accumulation of various types of social, psychological, cultural, cognitive, institutional, and related assets that inc rease the amount (or probability) of mutually benefi :216 ) This approach asserts that social capital is a single resource composed of multiple resources that are subsumed, combined and intricately organi zed within either a cognitive or structural categories Those cognitive an d structure categories consist of the following resources : (1) structural: such as roles, rules, procedures, precedent s an d networks that facilitate MBCA (mutually beneficial collective action ) and (2) cognitive: inclu ding norms,
45 values, attitudes and beliefs that predispose people towards MBCA (2000 :240 242 ) In work it ta k es time and effort for network s to buildup social capital and its usage increases the probability that cooperative action w ill occur, leading to output s that comprehend common interests Uphoff ( 1992, 2000 ) illustrated social capital producing practices through a water management project in Gal Oya, Sri Lanka, where he worked as a con sultant and organizer The main strategy of the project consisted of the introduction of a structural component, a social infrastructure of farmer representative and institutional organizers that organize d a farmer driven management system and a cognitive component, characterized by the project organizers and workers tapping into existing norms and attitudes that r einforced cooperation and service of others in order to activate MBCA One such culturally shared cognitive norm was derive from a Buddhist trad ition known as Shramadana which encouraged group labor because of the commonly held belief that it w ould provide spiritual merit In this example, t he tradition of Shramadana was applied by the project organizers to motivate irrigation canal users to clean and repair their dilapidated canal system and its use seemed to be one important factor that triggered an equitable system o f water management and rotation In post project surveys, participants perceived that, as a result of the project, their c ommunity developed ekemutekama (a spirit of unity), which empowered the organization of farmers, improvement in the quality of life, and increased economic output and income stream Acknowledging the role of preexisting individual leanings as well as cultu rally shared norms, Uphoff also suggested that social capital induced actions that were influenced by personal predispositions as well as the values and sanctions contained within social capital :
46 Knowing him as I do now, I think his basic personal value or ientation was skewed toward generosity . . Yet by his own admission, for almost three decades he acted selfishly, like his neighbors, because that was the norma tive context in which he lived. (1992:340) In the case cited, the outcome was quite positiv e, although the potential for a zero sum outcome could have been a possibility depending on the direction and effectiveness of a solidarity and if the presence of competition is accompanied with an underlying presence of trust, confidence, shared valu es, and investments in the well being of the collective and each of its members. resource s that have been included in his definition of social capital remains distinct and discernable Foley and Edwards (1999) also utilize a context, social s tructural/relational and access approach in their usage of social capital Their definition for social capital is: Social capital : resources accessible (mobilizable) to individual or collective actors in particu lar socio historical contexts. Resources availabl e for use ( 1999:167) Their work provides an example of the second version in the composite approach and includes attitudes, norms, generalized trust, organizations which mobilize economic resources, and In this version, social resources are fluid and changeable depending on th e type of access an actor due to of the network within a larger socio economic setting For example, an actor who occupies a fringe position in a network that is set in an econo mically depressed social sector will probably have access to less social resources than an actor in a fringe position in an economically prosperous social sector, although, since ties are developed one at a time, one tie might be all it takes to access a key resource
47 Foley and Edwards argue that context matters, especially related to the composition of the social capital that can be accessed; that individual agency must not be undervalued; and a r esource cannot be actually included within the entity known as social capital un til it is accessed and utilized Prior to their being accessed or utilized resour ces are only considered as the raw material waiting to be included within or excluded from soc ial capital One aspect of thi s approach is that it recognizes the significance of an and asserts that resources that can be accessed are not equally distributed. In this approach, a n accurate analysis of a social capital pro ducing opportunity needs to determine whether actor(s) have knowledge of the presence of various social or economic resources, whether their situation in a network or the networks gives them access to resources, and what types of resources they are able to access For example, an adolescent boy in India who helps support his family by doing whatever odd jobs he can pick up, including occasionally driving an electric taxicab, may not have access to an i ndividual who can link him with educational opportunities due to his lack of contacts that operate in an educational sphere or even the economic resources to pay for that opportunity even although he may be generally aware of their existence Alt hough s oci al capital can be understood as resources that are utilized (mobilized) for particular purposes in specific situations possession of social capital does not infer its mobilization, or if it is mobilized, that the actor will use their social capital wisely or well. Meadowcroft and Pennington (2007) approach to social capital exemplifies the third version of the composite approach where social capital is composed of fixed list of components T he authors argue that they are rescuing the concept from what they consider theoretical abuses by the social democratic camp. The components attributed to
48 social capital consist ed of : ( 1) generalized norms of trust and reciprocity (2) networks of civic engagement wid e level rather than the more particularistic relationships among families, friends, or work colleague and Pennington 2007:21) Meadowcroft and Pennington also make a distinction between bonding (intra group) and bridging (inter group) form s of social capital in their treaties found fault with arguments advanced by social democrat s that a free market economic system undermine d and leach ed social capital from personal interrelationships such as the family, kinship system, and associational liaisons According to the authors, social democrats argue that market based impersonal and thin morality, including private property rights, a common la nguage, contracts, and respect for others which characteriz es open markets destroy ing social capital generated by intra group dynamics and trust They claim this was due to differences in religious, cultural, and emotive norms intra group connections an d particular and generalized trust The however, contend that families and associations can and do positively coexist within and even support commercial exchanges They suggest that citizens can and regularly do easily function on multiple levels recognizing that commercial exchanges actors to sacrifice their particular ethnic, religious, and family level b eliefs, principles or tight relationships They also point out that through the socialization process, families and schools help their members gain crucial skills to interact with and gain resources from the ir greater society The authors argue that citizens are actually quite skilled at moving in and out of various assoc iations inter personal groupings and even employment, while at the same time maintaining their close knit connections found in personal and family relationships
49 Finally, the authors recognize that marketplace settings have evolved a particular set of in struments to respond to the need for trust in such an impersonal setting including brand names, franchises, money back guarantees, credit ratings, licensing bodies, and professional associations also suggest that a society characterized by o pen markets and associational liaisons is not in need of a Third Way, big brother form s of interventionist governmental policies to reinforce its social capital Advocates of this perspective to governmental mi cro management and policy development suggest that social capital building processes need to use governmental intervention and policies to enable civic participation and reinforce associational and intra group life, as a means of prov iding an alternative to a welfare type state for social arenas such as housing medical needs, and human suffering Meadowcroft and Pennington argue, however, that governmental policies must, necessarily be based on very time consuming and imprecise majority rule and consensus processes or decisions made by elected officials who are hard put to be unbiased which usually stifle innovation, creativity, and incremental responsiveness based on quick feedback found within the supply, demand, and prices systems present in a marketplace In their arguments the y suggest that governments should focus their interven tions and develop policies which target areas that are usu ally outside the scope of civic participation or commerce, such as defense, foreign policy, and public works or especially egregious incid ents of abuse in the public arena, to shore up democratic processes Nahapiet (200 9) definition and further usage of the concept of social capital describes an entity that combines a fixed list approach and number of dimensions and
50 categories. For this reasons I include d it as an example of the fourth version of the composite approach. includes an infinite number of resources (all actual and potential resources) as well as the network these resources are derived from : We define social capital as: the sum of the actual and potential resources embedded within, available through and derived from the network of relationships possessed by an individual or social unit Social capital comprises both the network and the assets that may be mobilized through that network. (2009:208) In the body of her article however, Nahapiet moves beyond simply listing the components of social capital and goes on to describe and organize the contents of that resource She describes an entity that consists of three dimensions or facets the structural (patterns of ties such as bridging bonding or future ) th e relational (trust, trustworthiness, reputation, processes such as face to face time) and the cognitive (shared values, identity, knowledge) She further suggests that social capital contributes to collaborative advantage due to its embeddedness, reciprocity (norm) appropr iability, latency (potential for activation) and convertibility (p p. 209 219 ) To further elaborate on the se components embeddedness refers to the understanding that exchanges take place within social setting, appropriability refers to the understanding that social connections can be useful in a variety of settings, and convertibility refers to the potential of social capital to be converted into other types of capital 2000 :73) of the composite approach, social capital is understood to be composed of various components and also features a type of resource that is created by the resources contained within the entity An example of the resultant or flow resources would be derived from civic engagement, or social connectedness (Putnam 2000:20) This version implies that a
51 resultant resource is fostered from resources found within the compounded entity Scholars who use this version also suggest that social capital can be collected in pools or that a society can possess a stock pile of social capital In this usage, the problem of circular reasoning is an ever present danger since social capital is seen both as a cause and an effect (Putnam, 2000:294) An additional example of this version can be found in the work s of Putnam (1993, 1995a, 1995b, 2000) l capital suggests that it is an entity composed of trustworthiness, norms of reciprocity and civic virtue, and social networks, but then further asserts that these resources create a form of social capital seen as a spillover public good such as civic engagement and so cial connectedness (2000:20, 403 ) Putnam does seem to have borrowed some of his understanding from L.J. Hani characterization of social capital as tangible substances that result from social intercourse, . namely good will, fellowship, and sympathy ( Putnam 2000:19). This subsequent and created social capital is likened to an entity that can be accumulated in a type of social bank account stored in reservoirs, and eroded, thus leading to a deficit of social capital Bowling Alo ne published in 2000, we fi nd references to this capacity of social capital to be stockpiled on pages 28, 290, 323, 341, 368, 40 1, 406, 403, 404, 406, 408, and 413 Another example of the fifth version of the composite approach can be found in the work of Krishna (2000 ) who views social capital terms of a stock and a flow a bank account of said resource : asset th at yield streams of benefits These assets comprise the stock of social capital,
52 while the ben :73) From this perspective, social capital resources, such as trust, cooperation, rules, norms and institutional precedents are manipulated or engaged in order to produce or foster social capital such as achieved cooperation and solidarity to fulfill a common need to solve collective problems and other mutually beneficial outcomes Krishna suggests that stock of social capital consist s of two forms, institutional and relational He gives the example of a one of its of social capital, community leaders would activate commonly recogniz ed procedures and rules to rebuild the structure, while (2) in the relational form of social capital, sh ared trust, goodwill values, beliefs, and ideologies will galvanize an emotive outpouring within the community based on perceived appropriate behavior also result ing in an outpouring of effort to rebuild the structure In both cases, the flow form of social capital would be the social action of rebuilding the missing barn Krishna suggests that activating either forms, through utilizing existing social roles and relationships or creating new organizi ng infrastructures, will result in social capital that has sustainability and longevity. In his quality of social capital can be built up or destroyed and that it is a vibrant resource situated within ever changing and dynamic processes Third Approach: Reductionist I have l abeled the third approach to defining social capital as reductionist because within it scholars have tried to discern, from amongst the multiple social capital s available the fundamental and essential resource worthy of being designated as social capital approach but I did come across three examples in my
53 literature sample, Robison, Schmid, and Stiles (2002), Robison and Flora (2003), and Davis and Ba r tkus (2009) that I will review in this section Robison, Schmid, and Stiles (200 2) suggest that the current definitional confusion surrounding the concept of social capital stems from scholars erroneously trying to answer a variety of peripheral questions such as where social capital exists, its uses, or how it can be produced instea d of getting down to the basic question of what it is For Robison, Schmid, and Stiles, ontology is that social capital is sympathy : erson or group that may produce a potential benefit, advantage, and preferential treatment for another person or group of persons beyond that expected in an exchange relationship. (2002:6) They ar rived at this conclusion based on their understanding of th e nature of capital as a resource, such as equipment or structures that is used in the process of transforming raw material into a desired output or product As part of their effort to apply the capital metaphor to the concept of social capital, they sifted through a multitude of existing social resources, and determined that sympathy best met their criteria of being the essential social resource which could compel and motivate an actor to move beyon d their own utility maximization in their social inte ractions producing outcomes that were social or cooperative in nature and benefit w hich consider to be the distinctive arena for the concept Examples of the transformative function of sympathy given include d providing benefit for her child because of her sympathy, love, and care ; because of an they will mentor recent graduates; or in sympathetic response to the plight of victims of a disaster, an actor will contribute to a relief fund. Thus, th e authors sympathy as the one true form of social capital
54 because of its indispensable usefulness, in conjunction with other forms of capital, to compel actors to participate in and maintain persistent social relationships that produce benefits f or said actor and those they interact with Robison and Flora (2003), utilizing the definition of social capital advanced by Robison Schmid, and Siles (2002) also reduce the concept of social capital to sympathy, and suggest that sympathy which they suggest can be conveyed through the exchange of gifts, volunteer service, informal family celeb rations, or care giving rituals, means to ll (2003:1188) The bul k of this article consists of a discussion related to the role and nature of socio emotional goods in transactions, suggesting they represent a relevant dimension to exchanges that have been under scrutinized The definition for socio economic goods provid ed by the authors is : emotional goods are expressed emotions between persons that validate, express caring, or provide information that increase self awareness and self Robison and Flora suppose that interpersonal types of excha nges are other concerning and while they may be used for the acquisition of phys ical goods and services they are immersed within the dimension of socio emotional goods (i.e., emotions) s uch as a sense of self worth, emotion well being social approval or distinction for all par ties involved in a relationship They suggest that this dimension has been under analyzed and is significant due to the value it attaches to economic transactions or goods being exchanged When socio emotional goods are exchanged, a phenomenon identified a s attachment value occurs and emotions associated with the person or context related to the exchange increase the value of the object, such as a letter from a friend or a diploma, for the new owner of the object:
55 The social capital paradigm introduces a new form of capital This new form of capital produces a flow of social emotional goods that have value Moreover, these socio emotional goods can attach themsel ves to the objects used to conv ey them and change their v alue and meaning This change in value and meaning, we define as attachment values. (2003:1192) emotional capital resource represents a unique contribution to the analysis of human social interactions. Davis and Bartkus (2009) weigh in on the quest ion of the relationship of t rust, specifically organizational trust, and social capital and I have aligned them with the third approach to defining social capital since they reduce social capital to goodwill In this article, organizational trust is defined as: We define organization al trust as: the cumulative willingness of members of a group to be vulnerable to the actions of that group, to be vulnerable even if they do not know all the members of the group and even if the actions of other members cannot be monitored or controlled. ( 2009:320) They mapped out a correlation between organizational trust and social capital through a model which posits the following factors a s antecedents to organizational trust and social capital : ( 1) a bounded group that has a sense of shared fate and vulnerability (2) an organizational culture which embodies formal and informal norms such as benevolence and reciprocity and also values openness and cooperation (3) membership consists of actors who possess com petency in their task related skills (2009:322 325) They further sug gest that organizational trust functions as an antecedent to social capit al S ocial capital, which they have reduced to goodwill found in relationships between members of a risk taking co mmunity or group, is understood to generate and cause outcomes, including collective action and individual citizen be havior The sequence of network strength, norms, and ability; organizational trust; social capital; and outcomes in the
56 author s model also generates a feedback loop which overtime, builds up intellectual capital, knowledge, and expertise within an organization, providing an organization with competitive advantage (p p. 320 326) The authors developed this model to demonstrate that social capital has the power to provide individual and collective outcomes Fourth Approach: Social Energy I have labeled the fourth approach to defining social capital as social energy a term that was coined by Hirschman ( 1984) since this is the imagery invoked by the scholars who advance such an approach. This version seems to harken back to the idea of (1995) ethnography of indigenous Australian tribes in The Element ary Forms of Religious Life Durkheim describes the Totemic Principle as an impersonal yet tangible force t hat is also a moral power This moral aspect which compelled actors towards an improved reality, was derive d from an and social interaction Totemic Principle suggests that it is not material and yet it can be revealed through physical force or power as a result of actions performed by men, creatures physica l phenomena and further that the tribe or individuals connected through the totem to that energy Durkheim explains that one of the reasons for collective gatherings and rites is to excite the production maintena nce and then to reinforce the collective c onnection, feelings, intense effervesce nce and ideas Durkheim asserts that social phenomena are creations emanating from the social dimension of life, based on his belief that the combination of a collective energy and morality can have a substant ia lly felt psychic manifestation. He explains that this force is collectively created from that supra individual that is society, a collective
57 consciousness also understood to be the supreme form of the human psychic. I have gone view appears quite similar to the imagery invoked by the social capital scholars that assert social capital is a form of social energy ( Hirschman 1984) Altho ugh this version is rarely utilized, I did find it in the works of Paxton (1999), Lewandowski (2007) and Stickel, Mayer, and Sitkin (2009), and thus have included it as one of the four approaches In the work s of each of these scholars social capital is u nderstood to be an ether like entity that is generated through social interaction, being both substantial and material (a form of energy) while at the same time ethereal and immaterial One example of the social energy (Hirschman 1984) approach can be found in the work of Paxton (1999) who views social capital prior to being to being activated as a type of potential energy : When social capital is present, it increases the capacity for action and facilitates the production of some good When active, i t facilitates various ends for the members of a group and for the group as a whole Social capital could, however, remain latent within the group and be viewed as potential energy. (1999:93) Her full definition of social capi tal suggests that it consists of two components which could facilitate the production of individual, pr ivate level and also group level benefits which she calls goods Those two components include : . objective associations between individuals . [ and ] . a subjective type of tie The ties between individuals must be of a particular type reciprocal, trusting, and involving (1999:93) Examples of private level goods would be child care between friends, while group level goods are those which are produced thr ough group action characterized by tight levels of trust and that are shared by all. In formal business exchanges of diamonds
58 between diamond traders because of their shared religious and ethnic affiliation would be examples of this type Paxton indicate s the presence of high or low levels of social capital at the individual and community as well both the micro and macro social level, utilizing a 2 x 2 table which tracks connection or association between individuals or groups and juxtapositions them to th e presence of trust reciprocity and positive emotions, with the suggestion that this approach could also be applied to more macro levels such as between nations between group and associations ties juxtaposed with high levels of intra group generalized tru st Paxton article includes the idea of aggregated social capital or and social trust, the combination of generalized trust at the community level from all those within that community. This type of community level social capital can be a positive, especi that moves beyond the individual good to the public good and promotes a common identity and shared responsibility (1999 :103 ) She pro poses that a positive aggregate level social capital is a prerequisite for the maintenance of democracy and also that increased communication, in formation flow and cooperation can be achieved when a society maintain s high level cross cutting connections S he also entertains the possibili ty of negative uses of social capital caused when associational energy is applied towards destructive ends such as crime or when intra group social capital excludes benefits for the larger community. ( Paxton 1999) Lewandowski (2007), links social capital to sociability, which he defines human association in its aesthetically distilled or formally concentrated state; it is inchoate social energy He then goes on to define social capital as the the
59 harnessed or capitalized form Thus Lewandowski sees social capital as a substantial resource formed by the conversion of an embryonic and emergent form of social energy (Hirschman 1984) Lewandowski suggests that t his harnessed sociability approach to the concept of social capital has the potential to foster a viable theoretical basis for the concept; however I could not discern a formed theoretical perspective in this approach I nstead I found an argument which pro posed the necessity of ethnographic studies being undertaken which study the cooperative dance which is inherent in the dynamics occurring in the space located between actors The author suggests that a theoretical perspective for the concept would evolve as a result of such studies being undertaken Supposedly, when theoreticians and ethnographers focus their efforts on recording a grand number of particular interactions, patterns and explanations for the phenomenon of sociability and those studies pass a certain tipping point, the said focused theorist will be able to discern a feasible elucidation of the concept zed as part of the social energy (Hirschman 1984) approach explored the supposed decreases in social capital, questioning why actors would choose to invest in or withdraw from investing in social capital, especially pointing to trust and decisions to take risks as significant factors underlying such withdrawals likens it to potential energy that precedes action, and sees it as an energy like resource that is positioned between various social resources and outcomes : Our conceptualization of social capital is the bridge between variables like values, networks, and trust, and outcomes they facilitate coop era tive and helping behaviors . social capital is the socially derived potential for actions that contribute to the collective . distinct from both how it is cre ated and how it is use . . Like potential energy in physics, social capital is the capacity to produce action, whether or not any action is produced. (2009:305)
60 Since the author s define social capital as potential energy, I aligned their scholarship w ith the social energy (Hirschman 1984) approach to social capital In the author s view, values, networks, and trust are causal antecedents to social capital, with the presence or loss of trust being a core factor that will either trigger or dissuade actors from acting in a cooperative fashion or contributing to the public good Their definition of trust is : a willin gness to be vulnerable to another party which cannot be monitored or controlled based on the expectation that the party will perform a particular action important to the 306 307) They argue that there are three qualities that encourage trus t: ( 1) ability or whether an trustee possess specific skills and abilities to perform an ac tion or task, (2) benevolence meaning the perception that a trustee actually cares abo ut the trustor, (3) integrity which is a the perception that the trus tee is bound by values and rules that the trustor recognizes as valid (2009:307) The four approaches used in defining social capital can be found in the works of scores of authors in their efforts to understand the concept of social capital Their prevalence suggests that strenuous efforts have been made within the discipline to discern an optimum definition and understanding of social capital Due to the massive number of definitions currently exiting, however, it appears to me that these ef forts have actually back fired and rather than clarifying the concept have resulted in the current chaotic and convoluted lack of understanding Within the sample of articles that I reviewed (N=90) sample, related to these four approaches I also found the majority utilized the discrete (30 percent) and composite approach (63 percent) As a disclaimer, these results are based on my personal and subjective review, assessment, and categorization of the sample of articles, and the results can only provide a general picture of the spread and
61 alignment of articles that can be found in existin g social capital literature. In assigning an article to one of the approaches, the discrete approach was indicated if the resources identified were portrayed as autonomous and unconnected the composite approach was indicated if I perceived that various re sources were being bundled together or, collected and subsumed within a compounded entity that was then c onceptualized as social capital ; the reductionist approach was chosen if the authors reduced social capital to one resource; and the social energy (Hi rschman 1984) approach was chosen if social capital was likened to energy located within social relationships.
62 CHAPTER IV DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION Discussion In this paper I have identified and introduced a conceptual map consisting of four approaches to defining social a tool which I suggest can be of service to support efforts to organize and make sense of the vast array of varied and seemingly irreconcilable understandings concerning the nature of social capital The basic premise behind these four approaches suggests that the target of inquiry for social capital definitions is social resources because they are currently equated with capital From this perspective, social capital definitions are merely attempts to describe the characteristics, conte nts, and function of that social resource(s) as accurately as possible The four approaches are offered in a simple and straightforward manner, as a potential tool to aid in categorizing social capital definitions using an external perspective of structure and forms, thus giving a birds eye feel to the analysis My purpose in introducing this conceptual map is to provide a preliminary tool which I hope can function as a first step towards the ultimate goal of reaching a definition for social capital that ca n be agreed upon and adopted by a consensus of scholars. It is at this point that I would like to consider how the required next steps in the process of determining a commonly agreed upon definition would go forward I would posit that through written or face to face dialog ue discussion, and debate one of the four approaches should be favored For this to occur, it would require that scholars determine which definition best describes social capital or come up with an agreeable compromise
63 To progress to such a stage would surely to be daunting and perhaps would take years but I envision no other option but that such an outcome be pursued if scholars are insure the integrity and usefulness of the concept. I however, would like to propose one possible p ath that could be taken to achieve a common understanding and universal definition for social capital This alternative route would involve discontinuing the practice of equating capital with social resources, a choice that would totally alter the dynamic within and future trajectory of the concept I am suggesting this option because of the various downsides and problems that currently afflict the concept Alt hough social capital scholarship is seemingly locked into this tact having used it for over three decades the fact that the scholar who systematize the concept, Bourdieu (1977, 1986), did not utilize such an approach, leads me to the conclusion that other options for the concept could be considered To recap, Bourdieu (1977, 1986) uses the concept to describe the virtual amalgamation of various economic, cultural, and symbolic assets tha t could be accessed by an individual by virtue of their membership in a group or collective and which augmented or had a multiplier effect on any assets that individual s may possess in her own right Further, this virtual combination of assets was understood to contribute to that group and its abilities to garner scarce resources or wield power and control in their greater society. Bourdieu did n ot focus on specific resources but rather defined the term as the aggregation of economic, cultural, and symbolic assets This is probably because his concern was with how the phenomena of social capital contribute d to exploitation s and the uneven power brokering which w as prevalent in the classed society of his time
64 Scholarly criticism of the approach that equates social capital with social resources can be found in the works of scholars such as Arrow (2000 ), Solow (2000), and Bowles and Gintis (2002 ) For example, Arrow (2000 ) urges abandonment of the metaphor of capital and the term social capital in the analysis of social networks, because pital The aspects he cites in time; (b) d eliberate sacrifices in the pres ent for future benefit; and (c) a (2000 :4) Although Solow (2000) agrees that social factors such as shared norms, institutions, and behaviors that affect the performance of an economy or society are worthy of st udy he doubts that combining these factors with the concept of capital as prudent For Solow, capital stands for produced or natural factors that wil l yield benefits over time (2000 :6) H e states that the concept of the willingness and capacity to cooperate and coordinate, the habit of contributing to a capital (Solow 2 000:7) Bo wles and Gintis (2002) suggest that while the ideas invoked in the network/trust approach targeted by social capital literature are worthy of study, the use of the term capital, which they suggest refers to things people own, to describe social r elationships is problematic and inappropriate. Problems Related to Conceptualizing Social Capital as a Resource The first problem that has already been identified with the usage pattern that considers social capital to be a social resource is the lack of a universally agreed upon definition and understand ing of the concept According to this paper th e currently favored approach which assumes a resource or resources exist that are known as social
65 capital has given rise to four approaches to defining socia l capital with each approach consisting of numerous attempts to arrive at the optimum definition I have observed that s cholars seem to be compelled to come up with an increasing number of definitions and understanding s regarding the nature of social capital a pattern also noted by Adam and Ron (2003) Adam and Ron (2003) observe that authors using the concept first reference its historical uses and then either adopt an existing definition or advance their own definitio n The latter option seems to be quite prevalent and has only added to the current definitional confusion leaving the possibility of a united definition elusive at best I have no definitive explanation for this explosion of definitions that see ms to characterize the concept except that the current approach seems to lend itself to this outpouring If social capital scholars wish to find a way out of this dilemma one suggestion would be to limit the condition which seemingly encourages scholars to continually devise new definition s for the concept If scholars no longer conceptualize social capital as a specific entity or a resource that requires extensive efforts to locate and define perhaps the temptation to do so would no longer exi st The second problem that I attribute to the conceptualization of social capital as a capital resource relates to measurement issues From my perspective, w hen critics attack the concept of social capital related to measure issues I perceive those critics as asserting the resource approach to social capital has resulted in an entity that is extremely difficult to measure. T ypical methods used look to indirect indicators such as civic participation, safer streets and newspaper readership (Putnam 1993 1995a, 1995b, 2000) to identify this elusive target One obvious critique that can be leveled at these types of empirical
66 efforts is their appropriateness and rigor or whether such indicators are actually measuring social capital Scholars who point out the measurement problems associated with the current conceptualization of social capital include Fukuyama (1995, 2000), Dasgupta (2000 ) and Woolcock and Narayan (2000) For example, Fukuyama cites three limiting factors for arriving at a comprehensive capital, which he defines an instantiated set of informal values or norms shared among members of a group that permits the Those three factors are: ( 1) t he inher ent difficulty in quantifying the different qualitative dimensions of collective action found in broadly different groups such as the U.S. Marin e Corp and a bowling league, (2) d ifficulty in measuring the types and quantity of shared trust in less homogene ous, mail order style groups, like American Association of Retired People (AARP) or National Rifle Association (NRA), that lack face to face collaborative experiences for the large m ajority of their members, and (3) difficulties in including and measuring the negative externalities of groups, such as the Ku Klux Klan or the Michigan Militia, who promote values that are the antithesis to those that would build social capital ( Fukuyama 2000 :98 102 ) Along a similar tact, scholars including Da sgupta (2000 ) and Woolcock and Narayan (2000) also point to the difficulty in constructing an instrumen t that can reliably measure the social capital concept In his article, Dasgupta (2000 ) entertains a number of options or approaches to measuring social capital One w as to examine wages and salaries or total fac tor productivity, but he rejects this because he knew of no data set that would enable one to determine which of the three macroeconomic formulations of
67 soci al ne :396). He suggests that difficulties exist when scholars attempt to factor in such features as horizontal, vertical, benign or destructive networks Ultimately, however, he suggests that the problem can be reduced to difficulty in determining prices that can be used to estimate or assign value since so much of the nature of social capital does not occur in a market setting. Woolcock and Naran suggest that that any efforts to obtain one measure of social capital are currently at an impasse : Ob taining a single, true measure of social capital is probably not possible, for several reasons First, t he most comprehensive definitions of social capital are multidimensional, incorporating different l evels and units of analysis Second, t he nature and f orms of social capital change over time, as the balance shifts between informal organizations and formal institutions And t hird, b ecause no long standing cross country surveys were initially designed to measure social capital, contemporary researchers hav e had to compile indexes from a range of approximate items (measures of trust, confidence in government, voting trends, social mobility, and so on. ( Woolcock and Naran 1999:239 240) It is my observation that scholars who attempt to construct indexes to measure social capital quickly find those indexes becoming obsolete due to the continual expansion of the types and numbers of resour ces thought to be encompassed within the concept A third weakness found with the concept is the propensity to omit relevant causal factors It is my observation that this tendency can be largely found in the composite approach where scholars attribute this type of social capital with causality, the consequence being that they inadvertently limit considerations of other causal resources that have been excluded from their definition One example of this problem is found in (1993, 1995a, 1995b, 2000) learning model theory which hypothesizes that civic engagement norms of reciprocity and civic virtue and generalized reciprocity, are learned and practiced due to progressive affiliation from homogeneou s to heterogeneous associations. (1993, 1995a, 1995b, 2000 ) approach to social capital however,
68 does not take into account the findings of var ious scholars related to the role of childhood socialization and other institutional influences as possible sources for section bias related to heterogeneous association membership, a potential error of omitted capital resources It is noteworthy that Diet (1993, 1995a, 1995b, 2000) learning model of trust du e to the following findings: First, l onger periods of membership in diverse association do not make memb ers this suggests that people self select into more or less diverse groups, depending on their origina l trust level . . [and] . Second, t he longer members experience high trust groups, the weaker their generalized trust ( ( Stolle 1998:516 518 ) (1993, 1995a, 1995b, 2000) scholarship, thus far, continues to d isregard the significance of those causal social factors that have been pointed out by Stolle (1998) S cholars such as Brehm and Rahn (1997) H ooghe and Stolle (2003) and Stolle and Hooghe (2004) and Campbell (2009) also argue (1993, 1995a, 1995b, 2000) work leaves little consideration for other possible causes of civic engagement beyond the recognized one of associational life I n their examination of individual level causes of social capital, Brehm and Rahn (1997) identified exogenous elements that influence the development of generalized trust such as: childhood environment including individual educational attainment; whether the heritage Hooghe and Stolle (2003) suggest that early childhood socialization found within the family is a significant contributing factor for voting norms and involvement in the public sphere Stolle (2004) study on the roots of social capital
69 advances the premise that social capital research needs to acknowledge while considering existing political sociali zation literature that childhood socialization and youth originating peer associations are strong factors underlying the presence of generalized trust and civic participation, and therefore scholars should include these precursors in their research. Campb ell (2009) found that norms modeled by school peer groups could be linked to the propensity to vote in later years. These findings lead us to the possible conclusion that Putnam (1993, 1995a, 1995b, 2000) has prematurely concluded that associational life i s the predominant cause for civic involvement, while overlooking the fact experiences can also explain his or hers participation or lack thereof, in public service Although the correlation of associational life and civic participation has yet to be disproved Putnam (1993, 1995a, 1995b, 2000) has also not met the burden of proof for his claims that associational life if the main cause for civicness The criticism of tautolo gy or circular reasoning has also been leveled at the concept of social capital due to scholars who claim it to be both a causal resource and also an effect, with proof of its existence linked to the presence of social outcomes attributed to the entity Fo r example, Coleman (1987, 1988, 1990) is guilty of the error of tautology in his 1998 study of social capital In this study he argues that closure in relations between children and parents leads to higher academic achievement in those children because it produces the bonding type of soc ial capital as well as increases in human capital (Schultz 1961, Becker 1993) and resultant social capital Furthermore, he claims that we know social capital is responsible for the improved academic accomplishment because f amilies with more closure can be statistically shown to have
70 higher achieving children Putnam ( 1993, 1995s, 1995b, 2000) makes a similar mistake when he advances the idea tha t outcome such as safer streets, health and happiness are both caused by and are indicators of social capital, a tact that involves circular logic In his argument, Putnam (2000) asserts that associational interactions build up the composite capital resource he has labeled as social capital that has result ed in bonds of social solidarity within networks which automatically lead participants in those networks to greater civic involvement and behavior, and the generation of more social capital Furthermore, we know this because societies that have strong associ ational traditions have greater civic involvement and greater stores of social capital, and round and round the argument goes It is true that not all social capital theorists make this mistake, one exception being Paxton (1999) who wisely avoided positio ning social capital as both cause and effect ; however the error of tautology is an easy one to commit related to the concept of social capital For Paxton, social capital is a network structure linking actors that is characterized by positive affective emo tions such as trust and a desire to reciprocation She clearly differentiates between social capital and its effects, such as the flow of information or cross cutting social connections that encourage the flow of information However, the tendency to utili ze circular reasons remains as a temptation as a means to prove the existence of this elusive entity. It is my contention that the multitude of social capital definitions and meanings, measurement problems, omission s of relevant causal factors, and tautol ogy can be closely linked to the practice of conceptualizing s ocial capital as a resource Further, i t is my suggestion that if this practice is discontinued, many of the current problems associated
71 with the concept will be avoided or even overcome entirely If this tact is chosen, the need to define the elusive concept which has resulted in a continually expanding number of definitions could be avoided thereby greatly limiting the number of definitions advanced for the concept. In addition, the possibility of measuring those social factors or resources becomes infinitely less complicated Related to the tendency to omit significant causal factors, if the definitions given for the concept that are found in the composite approach wer e to be unbundle d arguing for the merit or demerit of any one social resource thought to influence the valued output of civic engagement would be a straight forward process allowing for any gaps or omissions to be identified. In such an approach, the comb ined components of Putn capital that are currently bundled, or trust, norms, and networks and the resulting civic engagement would instead be considered separately. I would agree with Smith and s point that instead of arguing or advocating for social capital, we should advocate for those resources that have been replaced by the terminology : wondering, why not simply advocate health, wealth, and democracy rather than social capital This argues for the need to find an approach to the concept that avoids the practice of relabeling or applying the label of social capital to specific social resources or combining a vast number of resources into one unitary version. Surely there must be an alternate way to indicate that an actor is using a social factor for utilitarian purposes than to attach the label of capital to it, or to build more and more complex definitions of the concept As well, an argument can be made regarding P 1995a, 1995b, 2000) propensity to engage in circular reasoning, for when capital
72 resources are clearly identifiable, tautology becomes much easier to detect and circumvent. Conclusion In this paper, I have outlined a conceptual map consistin g of four approaches used to define social capital when social capital is viewed as a social resource and a new type of capital The purpose behind this paper has been to identify prominent usage patterns from an external perspective of structure and form within the social capital scholarship as a preliminary step towards achieving a common understanding of the concept. I have also fault ed the operationalization of that approach, accomplished through relabeling existing social resources (such as trust, norms) as social capital ; creating a unitary capital resource composed of a multitude of existing capital resources with some seen a causing a resultant social capital resource ; specifying one social resource as social capital; or the idea that social capital refers to social energy (Hirschman 1984) What would a revised social capital concept look like if it no longer referred to social resources as type s of capital and how would the concept would th e operationalized? One possible alternative would be to utilize the label of social capital as descriptor of the concept This tact would continue to use the social capital label for the concept which I think will persist d espite efforts to circumvent it. However, the concept of social capital would no longer continue to try to locate and then investigate the element or elements that share a supposed similar nature to capital goods Instead, the term social capital would refer to a concept that i nvestigates social interactions through utilizing elements that are s toolkit such as structures, norms, values and attitudinal contents and would also examine the impact of
73 those factors on various outputs Such an app roach could conceivably free s cholars to discontinue using the current label of social capital for social resources such as trust, norms, and structures, as suggested by Smith and Kulynych when they said : o we are left wondering, why not simply advocate health, wealth, and democ racy rather than social capital ? It would also undercut the propensity to bundle or combine social resources which should result in more transparent quantitative and qualitative studies. One additional issue that could possibly be resolved through conceptualizing social capital as a macro level descriptor is the inherent linguistic contradiction due to the juxtaposition of the social, referring to cooperative interrelationships, and the capital, which implies utilitarianism, independent action and reliance on the self for that capital like resource : This is self defeating and contradictory language . . Unfortunately; the contradictory juxtaposition of soc ial (collaboration and interdependence) with capital ( independence and self reliance) allows us to continue to view the poor as not only in need of traditional individualistic values, but also as largel y to blame of soc ial power ( Smith and Kulynych 2002:172) In addition to this linguistic imbalance, the usage of the concept introduced in the 1980s tended to operationalize and subsume normative resources under the capital analogy which contributed to the concept imbalance in favor of an economic approach Using the label of social capital to describe a relational concept that encompassed both the social or cooperative and the capital or utilitarian dimensions found in interrelationships could provide a reasonable justification and explanation for the continued use of the label If this tact is taken, I suggest that the terminology of resources also be adjusted in favor of a more neutral term, such as the term social factors as favored by Ostrom and
74 Ahn (2003), so as not to emphasize any instrumental usages that might be applied to those resources/factors In my literature sample I uncovered a few article s that I thought could function as concept pieces to aid in discovering a possible re de s igned social capital concept that would get ar ound any approach that would equate and define social resources as social capital As n one of these articles completely avoid all the problems referred to in my earlier discussion they are offered only a s concept pieces that might provide some positive elements which would benefit future re design attempts The first article, by Uslaner and Dekker (2001), rarely engages in examining social capital s as relabeled capital resources utilitarian or other directed in nature choosing instead to refer to social resources using their commonly known names, such as trust or civic engagement The second article, by Turner (2000 ) uses a macro, meso and micro analytical ideal type approach to eco nomic development, providing a bro ad social arena where social capital is understood as social forces This approach seems amiable to fleshing out those social forces without relapsing into the technique of relabeling them as social capital or bundling them into one composite entity In t he third article by Uphoff (2000) his use of the resources that make up his composite version are so visible reverting to the investigation of using their commonly known names would seem to be a doable tact Although I would suspect that there are other articles that could be utilized these articles did seem to be promising examples that might be helpful in any redesigning efforts along the tact that I am suggesting O ne question that needs to be addressed is whether t he concept of social capital, with its current limitations and problems, is worth the effort that will be required to
75 revamp it In this regard, I am in agreement with Flap ( 1988, 2002 ), Schuller, Baron, and Field, (2000), and Nahapiet (2009) that since so cial capital provides unique benefits to social science research we should be wary of efforts to discard the concept completely. For example, Flap (1988, 2002 ) that current structural centered network research is unsatisfactory because it leav es no room for the consideration of motivational aspects of human nature which cause humans to act, such as preferences, needs, and goals, or the exist ence of unintended consequences presents a strong defense for continued use of the concept Schuller, Bar list of the five promises of social capital presents additional points that could also be taken into account, including : . it shift s the focus of analysis from the behavior of individual agents to the pattern of relations between agents, social units and institutions . to act as a link between mirco meso and macro levels of analysis . [social capital is about] . multi disciplinar ity and interdisciplinarity . it reinserts issues of value into the heart of social science discourse . quality ( 2000:35 36). argument that the concept should be utilized because of its capacity to be applied across levels with relationships, to function as a platform for relationships to be the prime unit of analysis within the social as well as being inclusive of social factors such as information, influence, social credentials and solidarity (2009:207 209 ) I agree with these and other scholars who have extensively evaluated the concept, that social capital has much to although the task of creating an approach that can overcome the limitations which I have elucidated in this pa per will certainly be challenging, it is my hope that a redesigned concept that is
76 informed by my recommendations can be developed allowing the concept continual usage that is unfettered by its current limitations and problems and challenges to its integri ty
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