Journal section "Theoretical issues"

Social Capital: Problem Field and Empirical Research

Belyaeva L.A.

Volume 12, Issue 4, 2019

Belyaeva L.A. Social capital: problem field and empirical research. Economic and Social Changes: Facts, Trends, Forecast, 2019, vol. 12, no. 4, pp. 154–166. DOI: 10.15838/esc.2019.4.64.10

DOI: 10.15838/esc.2019.4.64.10

Abstract   |   Authors   |   References
The article analyzes the concept of social capital as a successful metaphor that covers a whole range of relations that can affect the success or failure of activities of an individual, small groups, organizations, enterprises, society, and finally, interstate associations and unions. We show that the study of social capital is accompanied by relentless disputes about the essence of the concept; there are supporters and opponents of its legitimacy and rationality of use in scientific analysis. Despite the controversy, both proponents and critics of social capital note the productivity of the use of this concept, which is a complex social phenomenon that requires in-depth study. Social capital is considered in relation to the scale of those objects whose part it is and in relation to which it operates at the micro-, meso-, macro- and meta-levels. Social capital gives benefits on any of these levels and is fixed in economic, political, and cultural advantage. A component of social capital, as shown by the Polish sociologist P. Sztompka, is a moral capital that helps build relationships based on trust, loyalty, reciprocity, solidarity, respect, and justice. Embedding moral capital in the culture of society creates a solid foundation for the relations that contribute to the development in one or another area and to the progress of the whole society. Acting according to moral rules can mitigate the existing injustice in the distribution of social capital. A good example of the use of the concept of social capital is provided by a study carried out at Vologda Research Center on the basis of an indicator model. The connection of social capital with the socio-cultural and economic development of the territories is shown, the actual problems of the spread of social capital beyond the small, near circles of interaction are revealed. Addressing these problems is an urgent political and social task; it will help increase solidarity in society, overcome the alienation of the population from power, and create and strengthen mutual trust between them


social capital, indicator model, solidarity, its components, moral capital

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