1st Edition

Economics of Social Relations Critical Perspectives on Social Capital

    256 Pages 30 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Starting from the idea that economic relations are all social relations, and every economic fact is first a social fact, this book explores one of the crucial problems within economic science: how to incorporate the social dimension into the study of economic reality from a critical perspective.

    The book opens with an examination of the concept of social capital, incorporating all the approaches from the last thirty years of analysis. Furthermore, it reviews the two main orientations of existing research programs in social capital: the macro or culturalist perspective and the micro or individual social capital. Finally, the book explores the link between social capital and the negative aspects of social reality, such as corruption or inequality, and, through the study of so-called relational goods, the influence of social capital on subjective well-being. The analysis of the concept of social capital involves not only economists but requires a necessary bridge with sociology, anthropology, political science and even psychology.

    The book will, therefore, be crucial reading for anyone engaged in the problem of the interrelation between economy and society.

    Introduction: The Dissatisfactions Of Economics

    Part I: The Interrelationship Between Economy And Society

    1. Bringing The Social Into The Economy

    2. Social Capital: The Controversial Trajectory Of A Concept

    Part II : Two Conflicting Approaches

    3. Complex Consensus: The Micro, The Meso And The Macro

    4. What Is Behind Macro-Social Capital?

    5. Personal Networks As Capital: Individual Social Capital

    Part III : Constructing From Individual Social Capital

    6. Inequality, Homophily And Individual Social Capital

    7. Is There A Negative Social Capital? Social Capital And Corruption

    8: Well-Being And Relational Goods, The Intrinsic Value Of Social Relations




    Atilano Pena-López  (Celeiro-Lugo, 1968) Professor of Economic Policy at the University of A Coruña. PhD in Economics. Member of the OSIM (Social Organizations, Institutions and Markets) research group. He researches Socioeconomics and critical aspects of economics, paying particular attention to the frontiers with other social sciences, with a special accent on social capital and its derivations (social trust, corruption, happiness, etc.), Ethics and Economics, and the Economics of Religion. Among the research on social capital, he has published in international journals like Economics Bulletin, Cambridge Journal of Economics, Journal of Business Ethics, Journal of Happiness Studies, Social Networks, etc. and a series of book chapters linked to open questions.


    Matías Membiela-Pollán (A Coruña,1981) Associate professor of Marketing and Market Research at the Universidade da Coruña (Spain).  PhD in Economics and Business Administration, with a thesis on Social Capital and Relational Goods. Member of the research groups OSIM and IMARKA. His research interests are socioeconomics and social capital. He has published articles in various international journals and publishers indexed in WOS/JCR and Scopus. He is also the author of books on social capital, such as El Valor Económico de la Dimensión Social. Glosario (2013) y La Teoría del Capital Social (2016).