Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Social Capital

Summer… just that word makes me feel relaxed, makes me think about vacation time, think about time with my friends, family, neighbors. During the school year we are all busy; school/work, daily duties – so some of us forget how it is important to have a good connection with people in our network, how it is beneficial to have a big network, how it is good to be able to reach people in other networks. That is why we should invest time during summer in our social capital.

What is social capital? Social capital is the connections within and between social networks. Something like glue that holds our society and institutions/groups together. Just as a printer (physical capital) or an education (human capital) can increase productivity (both individual and collective), so do social contacts affect the productivity of individuals and groups.

For example, if we have a task to do something, and thru our social network we can reach people who can provide us with ‘know how’ to solve that task, the task will become ‘a piece of cake’. Furthermore, social relationships and the social environments of school, family, and neighborhood influence students with respect to school performance. It influences adults too.

So, what do you plan to do with your social capital?

A few nice articles about social capital are linked in Tutor/Mentor Exchange Links Library: T/MC Links Library : Research, Resources : Social Capital

So, let’s check a few of them.

Social Capital article at (a site dedicated to promote and support INFormal EDucation) is a great way to start. The article ( provides all the most important data about social capital in plain English. Social capital for starters, Types of social capital, The decline in social capital, The benefits of social capital are just a few of interesting sections of that article. Find more about social capital at:

A New Conceptualization of Social Capital is an article that attempts to improve the conceptualization of social capital by incorporating a number of new factors that have previously not been considered

Read more at:

Conceptualizing Social Capital among Young People is an article written by Nicole J. Schaefer-McDaniel and focused on new theoretical framework of social capital among young people.

The author describes social capital among young people to consist of three components:

  1. Social networks/interactions and sociability;
  2. Trust and reciprocity; and
  3. Sense of belonging/place attachment.

Find more about beneficial outcomes of social capital at

What are your thoughts about those articles? Of course, you can fine much more links about social capital at T/MC Links Library : Research, Resources : Social Capital

I am very enthusiastic about your comments here or at Cool Links and Cool Cash >> Social capital,

1 comment:

Tutor Mentor Connections said...

In the articles section on the T/MC web site is a Dec. 13, 2008 article that talks about how social capital is important in helping youth in high poverty neighborhoods do better in school. In this article social capital is divided into "bonding" capital, which connects people in a community with each other, and "bridging" capital which connects people in the community with people outside. This is what a tutor/mentor program offers to its youth and families. Read the article at

It helps to be registered, and logged in, on the T/MC site.