Rethinking Social Capital

Carl L. Bankston III ,

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Rethinking Social Capital

About the eBook

Combining theoretical approaches with practical applications, Rethinking Social Capital delineates the meaning, uses, and problems surrounding the concept of social capital. Carl Bankston, a leading scholar in the field, offers a fresh take on the topic, presenting an original way of understanding social capital as a process.

The book provides key definitions of social capital, describing its functionality, the surrounding theoretical issues, and its relationship with social structure. Examining capital in its various forms, Bankston discusses the complications of defining social relationships in a financial resource analogy as investments in future outcomes, and proposes an alternative of an original structural model that approaches social capital as a process. Chapters then explore the major applications of social capital theory: to families, communities and education; to formal organizations and informal networks; to class, race, ethnicity and inequality; and to the nation-state.


This cutting-edge book is invaluable in clarifying ambiguities surrounding the concept of social capital to students and scholars of the social sciences. Its practical applications will also prove useful to policy makers and public policy institutes.

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