The term `social capital' is a way of defining the intangible resources of community, shared values and trust upon which we draw in daily life. It has achieved considerable international currency across the social sciences through the very different work of Pierre Bourdieu in France and James Coleman and Robert Putnam in the United States, and has been widely taken up within politics and sociology as an explanation for the decline in social cohesion and community values in western societies. It has also been adopted by policy makers, particularly in international governmental bodies such as the World Bank.
This fully revised third edition of Social Capital provides a thorough overview of the intense and fast-moving debate surrounding this subject. New material encompasses:
Social capital and the internet
Social capital and the economists
Changing policy understandings of social capital
Social capital and resilience in tough times
This clear and comprehensive introduction explains the theoretical underpinning of the subject, the empirical work that has been done to explore its operation, and the influence that it has had on public policy and practice. It includes guides to further reading and a list of the most important websites.
John Field is Professor Emeritus in the Institute of Education, University of Stirling. He has published widely on socio-economic aspects of lifelong learning, including previous specialist studies of social capital and adult learning. He is Honorary Professor of Continuing Education at the University of Warwick and Gastprofessor at the University of Cologne.
1. The Genesis of a Concept 2.The Power of Connections 3. Walk on the Dark Side 4. Is the Internet Killing Social Capital? 5. Social Capital in Policy and Practice 6. Conclusion