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

Extract

5. Social capital effects on student outcomes Maureen T. Hallinan1 The primary goal of this chapter is to test James Coleman’s hypothesis that social capital, in the form of intergenerational social closure, increases student achievement. To test this hypothesis, I conducted both descriptive and inferential analyses on a longitudinal set of data in Catholic schools in Chicago. Surprisingly, the analyses did not show that networks of intergenerational social closure increase student academic achievement, either overall or indirectly. Instead, they indicated that networks of intergenerational closure increased liking for school and other non-academic variables. Networks with social closure have a statistically significant, positive effect on feeling able to count on neighborhood adults for safety, trusting people in the neighborhood, participating in school clubs or organizations, believing it important to help others in the community, attending religious services, and feeling safe in school. They have a statistically significant, negative effect on the number of times a student is sent to the principal’s office. A multitude of definitions exist for social capital, ranging from tight definitions used within very specific situations to broad-based concepts that can apply to a wide variety of social contexts. Given the focus of this chapter, I will be using Coleman’s definition (1990): social capital is a product of social structure that produces benefits. Coleman’s initial fascination with the dynamics of structure and change in social systems led him to social capital and empirical analyses of schools as...

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