Building social capital through outdoor education
AbstractOver the last 15 years, the body of literature surrounding the subject of social capital has witnessed steady growth. While sociologists have extensively discussed how social capital can be created and sustained within local communities and national contexts, there is little evidence of the social capital discourse within the outdoor education sector. Hallmarked by trust, reciprocity and voluntary associations within social networks, social capital may offer outdoor educators a helpful framework from which to conceptualise the impacts of their practice. This paper outlines the principal themes of social capital and explores outdoor education's role in building social capital within the local communities where they often operate. The notion of bridging, as articulated within the social capital concept, offers a way of exploring the recursive relationship that exists between outdoor education programmes and host communities.