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Social Capital ,Civic Society

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Social Capital ,Civic Society & Democracy Making Democracies Work – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Social Capital ,Civic Society


1
Social Capital ,Civic Society Democracy
  • Making Democracies Work

2
Key issues
  • What is Putnams theory of social capital?
  • What is the evidence
  • In Italy?
  • In the US? Robert Putnam and Theda Skocpol
  • European cases and worldwide patterns?
  • What are the implications for civic engagement
    and development in new democracies?

3
Review core concept
  • What does "social capital" mean? The central
    premise of social capital is that social networks
    have value. Social capital refers to the
    collective value of all "social networks" who
    people know and the inclinations that arise from
    these networks to do things for each other
    "norms of reciprocity".
  • www.bettertogether.org

4
2.Evidence in United States?
  • Putnams Bowling Alone
  • Aggregate trends in declining
  • Social trust
  • Civic engagement
  • eg Voting turnout
  • Associational membership
  • eg Unions, PTA
  • Trust in government
  • Why? So what?

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Declining social trust, US
Note Q. Do you think that most people can be
trusted, or that you cant be too careful in
dealing with people? agreeing that Most
people can be trusted Source US General Social
Survey, 1974-2000
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Putnam concludes
  • By virtually every conceivable measure, social
    capital has eroded steadily and sometimes
    dramatically over the past two generations.
  • Bowling Alone P.287.

11
Index of US social capital
  • Measures in each state
  • who
  • Served on committee of local organization
  • Served as officer for club/organ last year
  • Civic social organizations per 1000 pop
  • Attended club meetings last year
  • Turnout in presidential elections
  • Attended town meeting last year
  • Did volunteer work last year
  • Worked on community project last year
  • Spent a lot of time visiting friends
  • Entertained at home last year
  • Agree most people can be trusted
  • Agree Most people are honest

12
Consequences
  • Education childrens welfare
  • Safe and productive neighborhoods
  • Economic prosperity
  • Greater health and happiness
  • Better governance eg tax evasion rates
  • Negative impacts? Tolerance?

13
Theda Skocpol Diminished democracy (2003)
  • Prior to 1960 mass membership associations
  • Cross-class membership, regular local meetings
    and national headquarters (eg fraternal
    associations)
  • After 1960s- rise of professionally-managed
    advocacy groups
  • Based on patrons, mass mailing, specialized
    expertise for lobbying, research and media
    projects
  • Causes?
  • Social trends (education, womens roles, rise of
    professional middle classes) and
  • Changes in the political opportunity structure
  • Consequences?
  • Loss of bridging groups, greater social
    inequality, less leadership training, doing-for
    not doing with, targeted activation,
    fragmentation of the common good

14
Critiques of measures and evidence?
15
Critique?
  1. Measures dated and limited?
  2. New forms of association
  3. Social movements eg anti-globalization
  4. Internet communication activism
  5. Old organizations exclusionary?
  6. Race and gender
  7. Nostalgic normative assumptions?
  8. Problems of disentangling causality
  9. Healthy, happy, safe societies generate stronger
    social linkages?
  10. Misdiagnosis of causes?

16
Explanation for any erosion?
17
Why decline in US civic engagement?
  • Decline of long civic generation interwar and
    postwar
  • Time pressure
  • Economic hard times
  • Residential mobility
  • Suburbanization
  • Movement of women into paid workforce
  • Disruption marriage/family
  • Changes in US economy
  • 1960s inc. Vietnam/watergate/cultural revolt
  • Growth of welfare state
  • Civil rights revolution
  • Television technology

18
Role of TV
  • TV to blame for post-civic generation
  • Why?
  • Time- displacement
  • Heavy TV watching may induce passivity/malaise/mis
    trust
  • Effects on children

19
Critique Does TV erode social capital? Norris
  • Matters what you watch as much as how much you
    watch it
  • Evidence American Citizen Participation Study
    1990
  • More hours of TV watching less participation
    (with controls)
  • But more hours of watching TV news and current
    affairs more participation
  • Chicken egg problem of causal arrow

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IIPutnam Ed. Democracies in Flux
  • The evolution of social capital in contemporary
    society
  • 2002
  • Oxford University Press

Full text chapters available at
http//www.oxfordscholarship.com/
23
Democracies in Flux
  • Compares 8 OECD nations
  • US, Britain, Germany, France, Spain, Sweden,
    Australia, Japan
  • Similar trends (eg TV, work, leisure) in similar
    societies?
  • ConcludesOur investigation has found no general
    and simultaneous decline in social capital
    throughout the industrial/postindustrial world
    over the last generation. p.410

24
Democracies in Flux
  • Conclusions
  • Expansion in educated middle class, rising
    individualism, spread of mass entertainment
    common in many industrialized societies
  • Yet major differences in civil society due to the
    role of the state and corporatist traditions, and
    the impact of wars
  • Social capital is conditioned by political
    developments as much as the reverse. p.411
  • Some common trends falling participation in
    elections, parties, unions and churches..
  • Offset at least in part by general increases in
    informal, fluid, personal forms of social
    connection.loose connections eg sports and
    leisure groups
  • Impact on quality of connections, on social
    inequality, and on collective goals? Next
    research agenda.

25
Index of Social Capital
  • Data World Values Study, mid-1990s
  • Measures of associational networks cultural
    norms
  • Associational membership
  • Voluntary organizations
  • eg Active, inactive or not a member of a union,
    party, sports club, environmental organization
    etc.
  • Three alternative measures Vol-any, vol-org,
    vol-act
  • Social trust
  • Generally speaking would you say that most
    people can be trusted or you cant be too careful
    in dealing with people?
  • Social capital vol_actsocial trust

26
II.3 Evidence Worldwide
27
End
  • Next class Global trends and European cases
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