High levels of social capital in local communities, that is, strong civic engagement, reciprocity norms and trust between community members, are believed to constitute well- functioning, flourishing and healthy environments by promoting collective as well as individual goods. This chapter gives an overview of the relationship between social capital and health, reviews the literature on health effects of area-specific social capital and discusses the challenges and opportunities for local development initiatives to influence social capital for health promotion purposes. Our review indicates that there is strong theoretical and empirical support for a positive effect on health of area-specific social capital. However, a major challenge is the balancing between developments of bonding versus bridging social capital, since too much or ‘negative’ bonding social capital may result in increased social exclusion and distrust and have negative effects on health. For bridging and health-promoting social capital to become mobilized there is a need for strong political will and structural support. Local development initiatives must therefore strive for broad involvement of local people, organizations, politicians and authorities, in a combined top-down and bottom-up approach. The chapter also highlights opportunities for local development initiatives to influence area-level social capital. Investments in the physical environment that facilitate social interactions and safety among residents are essential. Planning and designing attractive meeting places and green areas may increase social capital, as will efforts to improve an area’s reputation. In addition, organizing community activities that are perceived as meaningful and attractive may promote development of supportive social networks. Local associations and activities with a conscious and clear inclusive strategy may specifically facilitate the development of bridging social capital. Such efforts will have the potential to increase participation, social interaction and social connections as well as trust and solidarity between people, and in the long run promote health at area level.
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Bengt Johannisson, Marcela Ram'rez Pasillas and Malin Lindberg
This chapter conceptualizes and operationalizes the potential of social capital in the making of sustainable strategies for individual firms in localized clusters as well as for the clusters as collectives. Global competitiveness is created out of local collaboration between firms that to a varying degree are internationalized, thereby building generic ‘glocal’ strategies. These strategies are in turn energized by the individual and collective social capital that originates in the egocentric personal networks of the local firms and the sociocentric personal network that the overall cluster of firms constitutes. The personal ties between firms that build these networks concern business or social exchange or a combination of the two. We inform how these features of network ties can be operationalized to provide a database for comparative studies of localized clusters of firms. The overall localized social capital that the cluster contains is activated through spontaneous self-organizing as well as formal organizing. The interaction between the spontaneous and formal structures turns the cluster into an ‘organizing context’, that is, an enacted environment for the local firms that is co-constructed by themselves. To illustrate how clusters build organizing contexts that accommodate glocal strategies by accumulating and using social capital, we tell the story of a Swedish community (Lammhult) and its firm cluster. This is known as ‘The kingdom of furniture’. The proposed model of personal networking and the illustrated example together inform how local actors may successfully initiate a process that aims at the creation of viable glocal strategies anchored in personal relations and networks. A ‘first mover advantage’ enables the cluster representatives to define what further enforcements external private and public bodies may contribute with.
Maryann P. Feldman and Ted Douglas Zoller
This chapter examines the internal anatomy of regional social capital and develops a role for dealmakers – individuals who provide active regional stewardship. An empirical analysis of 12 US regions finds great variation in the presence of dealmakers. The strong local presence of dealmakers is correlated with high start-up rates. Our empirical results suggest that the local presence of dealmakers is more important for successful entrepreneurship than aggregate measures of regional entrepreneurial and investor networks. Moreover, we find that the presence of dealmakers is a better predictor of the status of the regional entrepreneurial economy.
Michael Fritsch and Michael Wyrwich
Emerging literature shows that spatial differences in entrepreneurship tend to persist over longer periods of time. A potential mechanism underlying this pronounced persistence is that high levels of start-up activity lead to the emergence of a regional culture and a supporting environment in favor of entrepreneurship that particularly involves social capital. This chapter summarizes the available empirical evidence on the regional persistence of entrepreneurship and elaborates in detail how different elements of such a culture, such as social capital, can exert an influence on the level of new business formation and self-employment. As a demonstration for the relevance of a regional entrepreneurship culture for new business formation, we highlight the case of Germany where we find pronounced persistence of start-up activity despite radical structural and institutional shocks over the course of the twentieth century. The German case suggests that there is a long-lasting local culture of entrepreneurship that can survive disruptive changes. We discuss the relationship between place-specific social capital and a regional culture of entrepreneurship and draw policy conclusions.
Roger E. Bolton
This chapter shows how Jürgen Habermas’s ideas are relevant to the theory of social capital, in the context of regional planning. Many scholars in regional planning theory find Habermas’s theory of communicative action attractive, and some have suggested an application to social capital. This chapter goes further, especially in adding a discussion of Habermas’s concepts of the lifeworld and normative action. The author compares his own ‘Habermas-inspired’ concept of social capital to some economists’ theories of individual investment in social capital, and argues that regional planning can benefit by drawing on both sets of ideas.
Edited by Hans Westlund and Johan P. Larsson
Eddy Setiawan, Dessy Irawati and Roel Rutten
This study uses the example of six Indonesian migrant entrepreneurs in the UK to demonstrate how social capital ‘works’. Based on in-depth interviews with these people, the study identifies how bonding and bridging social capital play a different role in the start-up and development phases of a business. Importantly, the study shows how material conditions, such as education, legal status and kind of business, affect the development of social capital of migrant entrepreneurs. The study further explains how maintaining bonding social capital in one’s own community may come at the expenses of building bridging social capital that is needed for business development.
Niels Bosma, Veronique Schutjens and Beate Volker
This chapter explores the interrelation between social entrepreneurship and social capital at the neighbourhood level. Although the relevance of social capital theory for explaining the phenomenon of social entrepreneurship is obvious and undisputed, in-depth academic studies in this area remain scarce. We link social cohesion and collective efficacy, two neighbourhood-level components of social capital, to social entrepreneurial activity in the neighbourhood. In this way, we connect the theoretical perspectives of ‘institutional void’ and ‘institutional support’ that are addressed in the social entrepreneurship literature. We investigate these relations by using a sample of 360 entrepreneurs in 161 Dutch neighbourhoods and their report of the values they attach to societal and economic goals in their businesses. We find that in particular, collective efficacy in neighbourhoods can be linked to social entrepreneurship. This effect appears to be non-linear and U-shaped, which supports the idea that both a lack (signalling ‘institutional void’) and an abundance (signalling ‘institutional support’) of collective efficacy may trigger social entrepreneurial activities in a neighbourhood.
Ailun Xiong and Yongjian Pu
The relationship between economic factors and regional development in China has been extensively studied in the last two decades. Little attention has been paid to how social factors (for example social capital) are related to regional development. This chapter reviews 37 works of literature concerning social capital and regional development in China and has found several drawbacks in previous studies. The positive impact of social capital is not that obvious currently due to China’s cultural and institutional context.
Little is known about the relation between HEIs’ internal social capital and external social capital building. Instead research has mostly focused on external social capital building. This is often done with a focus on researchers’ collaboration with the surrounding environment. In Sweden university colleges have a tradition of collaboration with the regional environment. In university colleges researchers generally accept a central steering that emphasizes collaboration. This differs from the studied HEIs situated in the city capital. In such HEIs it could be a challenge to centrally encourage collaboration. One explanation for this difference is the relation between HEIs’ internal and external social capital. This suggests that building of external social capital within HEIs is not related to the nature of the internal social capital.