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Bridging capital and social cohesion in an English village


A small English village of 900 inhabitants. ... Wasserman, S. and K. Faust (1994). Social Network Analysis: Methods and Applications. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Bridging capital and social cohesion in an English village

Bridging capital and social cohesion in an
English village
Roy Greenhalgh 12th November, 2008
  • A small English village of 900 inhabitants.
  • Has a primary school, Anglican church,
    independent chapel, pub, community run shop and
    post office and village hall, and village field.
  • Has a growing retired population with few young
    families and transitory professionals. Turnover
    of houses approx 5 to 7 p.a.
  • Has full range of semi-skilled workers (quarry
    and farming) through to senior management in
    multimillion private sector and security sector.
  • Mix of housing with 80 private, estate and
    housing association

Purpose of the study
  • A gradual change in age of population leads to
    change in interest in joining/membership of
    voluntary local associations
  • Despite a low rate of influx of young families,
    involvement in voluntary village associations
    proves difficult
  • Village has a thriving, successful community
    owned and run village shop/post office.
  • Surfaced question is-
  • Can small communities or informal groups with
    high social cohesion positively affect others
    with low social cohesion? If so, how?

Study design
  • A case study
  • group numbers lt 35 per group, therefore
    traditional quantitative approach inappropriate
  • Traditional sampling approaches inappropriate ..
    scale too small
  • Diffusion is an individual process
  • Need to maintain all the characteristics of each
  • A suitable philosophical approach is primarily
  • Analytical method is to use Network Analysis.

The broad issues
  • Social cohesion is a state of affairs ....
    amongst members of society as characterised by a
    set of attitudes and norms that include trust, a
    sense of belonging and willingness to participate
    and help as well as their behavioural
    manifestations (p.290)
  • Bridging capital is outward looking, requiring a
    wide network of less dense relationships with
    far fewer multiplex strands
  • Bridging and bonding capitals strength can be
    measured in terms of weak to strong ties
  • Theorised that an increase in cohesion is brought
    about by an increase in deployment of bridging

  • Relational qualitative plus
  • Qualitative questionnaires with supplementary
    semi-structured interviews to verify and extend
    known knowledge.
  • 3 organisations
  • Village shop 31 members
  • WI committee 6 members
  • Parish Council 6 members .

Method (2)
  • Indicators
  • A measure of -
  • the network in which subjects lived
  • the reciprocity between subjects
  • the trust between subjects
  • the manner in which social norms operated between
  • how social agency appeared to work.

The Questionnaires
Response matrix
The distribution of ties at level I know very
well between helpers and supervisors
Density 0.18, SD 0.38
At level 2,3 4, Density 0.94 With SD
Frequency of working together, 1, 2 or monthly
Distribution of shop helpers/supervisors who are
members of and office holders in other village
Findings - shop workers
  • Cohesion amongst the shop workers is high
  • Correlation between How often do you work with
    these helpers? with a subset (reply value of 2)
    of How well do you know these helpers? (r0.34,
    sig lt0.001) indicates a situation where staff
    can continue to get to know each other
  • High network connectivity facilitates easy flow
    of resources throughout the network
  • Ratio of strong ties to all ties (0.180.94) is
    healthy and shows there is no potential
    lock-out of new members
  • There is a wide spread of involvement in other
    village organisations.

Involvement of supervisors and helpers in other
village organisations
Findings WI committee
  • Network values for the committee show high
    cohesion (d0.99) and in-out degree at 1.0 for
    all officers
  • High trust and high reciprocity exist, with good
    obligation debtedness
  • High involvement in other village organisations,
    with equally high officer membership
  • Local branch have regular group and national
    meetings with opportunities to bridge to
    out-of-village WI organisations
  • Some committee members do bridge to non-WI
    organisations in and out of village.

  • Successful bridging has been an individual social
  • Bridging is risky
  • Most bridgers are professional class in-comers
  • Initial moves were to develop vulnerable
    weak-weak ties
  • Some weak-weak ties have changed into stronger
  • It is the learned professional skills that have
    been the basis for bridging skills.

References (1)
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