The analytic models used by family demographers would be strengthened by the concept of social capital, placed in the context of social exchange theory. Using that concept to designate resources that emerge from social ties, the authors advance five propositions: 1) social capital is a multidimensional attribute of an individual; 2) the dimensions of social capital are the number of relationships a person has, their quality (strength), and the resources available through those relationships; 3) group membership and interaction facilitate the development of social capital; 4) the structural properties of groups influence the development of social capital; and 5) the acquisition and maintenance of social capital is a major motivator of human behavior. The formation of sexual partnerships, the birth and rearing of children, and both intragenerational and intergenerational transfers constitute major forms of investment in social capital in virtually all societies.
Population and Development Review – Wiley
Published: Mar 1, 1999
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