Instructions How to Write

Social and Cultural Capital

Putnam, Robert D. 1995. Bowling Alone: America’s Declining Social Capital. Journal of Democracy 6(1):65-78.
• In what ways does Putnam see civic engagement as important?
• What are some of the examples he gives of declining social capital in the USA?
• What does he suggest are some of the causes of this?
• Do you agree with Putnam’s pessimism about civic engagement and its possible consequences?

Leonard, Madeleine. 2004. Bonding and Bridging Social Capital: Reflections from Belfast. Sociology. 38:927-944.
• What are the distinctions between bonding and bridging social capital and why have policy makers tended to focus on bridging social capital?
• What aspects of the situation in Belfast does Leonard note as drawing into question Putnam’s implicit assumption that communities should develop bridging social capital? (p.936-7)
• What does Leonard argue are some of the negative aspects of social capital?

Rubio, Mauricio. 1997. Perverse Social Capital. Journal of Economic Issues. 31(3):805-816.
• How does Rubio question the assumption that social capital is ‘productive’?
• How is perverse social capital linked to education and income in Colombia?
• Why does Rubio argue against the usual argument that increased education lowers juvenile delinquency?
• Why are Colombia’s ‘Youth Problems’ linked to the rationale choices of its youth?

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