• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
Page
  1. 1
    1
  2. 2
    2
  3. 3
    3
  4. 4
    4
  5. 5
    5
  6. 6
    6
  7. 7
    7
  8. 8
    8
  9. 9
    9
  10. 10
    10
  11. 11
    11
  12. 12
    12
  13. 13
    13
  14. 14
    14
  15. 15
    15
  16. 16
    16

Putman's sociological theories

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Table of Contents Introduction 1 Social capital as catalysts for change 2 Social capital and community building 3 Putman's theory on gender discrimination 5 Criticism of Putman's theory on Social capital 7 Summary & Conclusions 9 References 10 Internet Sources 12 Introduction Social capital has gained tremendous popularity in recent years, driven in large part by the work of James Coleman, Pierre Bourdieu, and Robert Putaman. This increased attention for social capital is evident among several research topics, conference papers, dissertations, and educational journals. Social capital is the name given to a store of value generated when a group of individuals invests resources in fostering a body of relationships with each other (a "social network"). These relationships, it is argued, create trust by fostering shared norms, improve contract enforcement by easing information flows, and enhance sanctions against deviant behavior by facilitating collective action. Hence the real meaning of social capital is the quality of social relations. It is the quality of relationships, understood through the use of the concept "social capital", which affects the capacity of people to come together to collectively resolve problems they face in common (Stewart-Weeks and Richardson, 1998), and achieve outcomes of mutual benefit (Lochner et al. 1999). Thus, social capital can be understood as a resource to collective action, which may lead to a broad range of outcomes, of varying social scale. For individuals, this can mean access to the reciprocal, trusting social connections that help the processes of getting by or getting ahead. For communities, social capital reflects the ability of community members to participate, cooperate, organise and interact (Cavaye 2001). The narrowest concept of social capital is associated with Putnam. Putnam defines social capital as 'trust, norms and networks' that facilitate cooperation for mutual benefit. (Putnam, 1993). ...read more.

Middle

After examining data mainly from the DDB Needham Life Style surveys, and acknowledging gender differences in some common forms of community associations, such as PTAs, churches and professional organizations, he concludes that during the last two decades the movement of women into the paid labor force can account for only a modest amount of the total shrinkage of social capital in America: "With fewer educated, dynamic women with enough free time to organize civic activity, plan dinner parties, and the like, the rest of us, too, have gradually disengaged. At the same time, the evidence also suggests that neither time pressures nor financial distress nor the movement of women into the paid labor force is the primary cause of civic disengagement over the last two decades...civic engagement and social connectedness have diminished almost equally for both women and men, working or not, married or single, financially stressed or financially comfortable." (Putman ,2002) In more recent work, however, he does draw a useful distinction between 'bridging' and 'bonding' groups. In Putnam's words: "Bridging social capital refers to social networks that bring together people of different sorts, and bonding social capital brings together people of a similar sort. This is an important distinction because the externalities of groups that are bridging are likely to be positive, while networks that are bonding (limited within particular social niches) are at greater risk of producing externalities that are negative." For example heterogeneous bridging local associations such as the Red Cross are believed to have beneficial consequences for building social capital and social equality, by generating interpersonal trust and reinforcing community ties. On the other hand homogeneous bonding organizations can also provide positive functions, by benefiting members. ...read more.

Conclusion

This is most obvious when it comes to forms of social capital that were illiberal and socially exclusivist. But the decline of other forms of social capital, such as bowling leagues, may not be all that significant, if they do not lend themselves to being mobilized for new forms of community problem solving and trust building. The decline of church attendance may be far more significant. Summary & Conclusions In this essay the role of social capital in empowering individuals and communities who experience inequality and gender discrimination has been examined. Putman's theory on gender discrimination has been used in order to support the inequality of women's in society. As we have seen social capital is a social resource to which individuals, families, neighborhoods and communities have access. It has a well established relationship with several areas of policy interest, including economic growth, social inclusion, and educational attainment, levels of crime, improved health and more effective government. The key indicators of social capital include social relations, formal and informal social networks, group membership, trust, reciprocity and civic engagement. The broader literature on civic engagement and political activism suggests that gender differences in community are created by the factors of structure, culture and agency. I believe that by advancing gender equality and equity and the empowerment of women, and the elimination of all kinds of violence against women, and ensuring women's ability to control their own fertility, are cornerstones of community development. The human rights of women are integral part of universal human rights. The full and equal participation of women in civil, cultural, economic, political and social life, at the national, regional and international levels, and the eradication of all forms of discrimination on grounds of sex, are priority objectives of the community development. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Sociology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Sociology essays

  1. Gender Capital ? - Bourdieu and Gender Inequality

    (see table 3, Social trends, 1998:62). Firstly I will briefly outline Bourdieus' theory, contextualising it in the Marxist school of thought with which it is aligned. Next I will discuss its usefulness regarding key feminist concerns. Finally I will outline what modifications would ensure integration of gender into Bourdieus' theory,

  2. How did the Renaissance affect ideas about women? Did it affect them enough?

    Renaissance became involved in Britain after many of its European counterparts had experienced it. I will now look at some of the most important women in the history of the Renaissance. The women I will look at were not typical of the recognised 'Renaissance woman'.

  1. Structural and Action theories

    No two people have the exactly the same thoughts within their brains, which will give rise to objective research findings.

  2. Diversity - Gender and education Factors such as ethnicity, economic status and gender can ...

    a persons 'sex' is related their biological make up. Gross (2005) states that sex and ethnicity are viewed by some as biological factors which can determine levels of intelligence and attainment in school. However, there are environmental issues to consider with reference to socialisation leading to 'gender' roles (Charles, 2002).

  1. Choose a group which faces barriers in terms of participation in sport and leisure ...

    3%, Ten Pin Bowls 3%, Jogging 2%, Golf 2%, Weight Training 2%. From looking at the GHS data, it can be reported that where women's activities have increased, there appears to be a health-related factor here, (swimming, jogging, aerobics), accounting for the reported 2.5 million increase in women's participation in a sports activity between 1987 and 1990.

  2. Sociology Content and Analisis

    only person he knew intimately who had been affected by a divorce was Monika, he spoke about how unhappy Monika had been when her parents split. When interviewing Monika I decided to talk about this in complete privacy. I already knew how she had been affected by divorce as we

  1. Disucss the conention that weak leadership, rather than any economic or political factor was ...

    9 Unlike the Anti-Corn-Law League, the Chartists had problems through the lack of funding and no parliamentary representation. Both of these problems were mainly due to the fact that the Chartist were supported by the poorest paid sector of society (working class)

  2. How Is The Harshness Of Community Life In Starkfield Conveyed By Edith Wharton?

    These make her seem ghastly and horrifying. In contradiction to this, we find that Mattie, who is still young and has a whole life infront of her, is quite the opposite. "...fresh lips...cherry cheeks..." She is described as full of life and fresh.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work