Social Capital
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Social Capital

Reaching Out, Reaching In

Edited by Viva Ona Bartkus and James H. Davis

This book showcases new innovative research in economics, politics, sociology, and management regarding the topic. Leading scholars from a variety of disciplines present ground-breaking new research exploring the still-undiscovered value of social capital. The book employs a self-consciously multi-disciplinary approach to address two objectives: reaching out and reaching in. Through theoretical and empirical scholarship, the authors explore the many contexts in which the phenomenon can have impact. In effect, social capital research reaches out to issues of economic well-being, civic participation, educational achievement, knowledge and norm formation, and competitive advantage. Further, the authors investigate the many connections between the core themes of social capital and the pillars on which it rests, including structural networks, cognition, relationships and trust. This book is fundamentally about bridging – bridging across disciplines, units of analysis, and themes.
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Chapter 5: Social Capital Effects on Student Outcomes

Maureen T. Hallinan


149 as well as what student behaviors they influence. I would have to determine whether schools and intergenerational social networks vary in the strength of the norms governing academic achievement. As if all this were not enough of a challenge, it would be essential to know whether the information parents receive through their links with other networks is relevant to their children’s schooling. If so, one might be seeing the effect of networks with structural holes rather than intergenerational social closure in student academic achievement outcomes. I also had to determine whether the school is the correct unit of analysis. Parents and students in a school community rarely belong to a single, large social network. Rather, several parent and student networks usually exist within the context of a particular school. Some of these various networks may be densely connected, others loosely. Some may exhibit intergenerational social closure, others consist solely of parents or of students. Some may have links to individuals or groups outside the school while others may not. Based on the differences between networks, the correct unit of analysis may be smaller than the entire school. Given these realities, I kept the analyses descriptive, inferential and extremely focused. The primary independent variable is a social capital factor measuring network density among students, their friends and their friends’ parents. The dependent variable, student Reading or Mathematics achievement, is measured as change in scale score from seventh to eighth grade on the Terra Nova test in English...

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