1st Edition

Networks, Trust and Social Capital
Theoretical and Empirical Investigations from Europe

ISBN 9781138266322
Published November 15, 2016 by Routledge
312 Pages

USD $59.95

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Book Description

The concepts of social networks, social capital and trust play an increasingly central role in the social sciences. They have become indispensable conceptual tools for the analysis of post-industrial/late-modern societies, which are characterized by such features as the relative decline of formal hierarchies, the development of flexible social arrangements in the sphere of production and the extreme mobility of capital. This is the first book to study the interrelationships between these important concepts both theoretically and empirically. Drawing on empirical investigations from a range of diverse European social contexts, the contributors develop an economic sociology that builds on and extends established theoretical perspectives. The book opens with an introduction to the theoretical ideas: relating social capital to reciprocity, trust and social networks in line with current debates. The authors go on to discuss the concept of social embededdness, addressing the economic effects of social capital by examining the network and trust foundations of labour markets and investigating the structural limits of trusting networks. They conclude with an exploration of the impact of networking and the functioning of trust and social capital on the economic arrangements and performance of nascent capitalist economies in post-Communist Europe. This thematically unified collection by a team of distinguished contributors from across Europe provides an innovative and distinctive contribution to an expanding area of research.

Table of Contents

Contents: Theoretical Investigations: Introduction, Sokratis M. Koniordos; From Charis to Antidosis: The reciprocity thesis revisited, Rafael Marques; The ’Network Ethic’ and the new spirit of capitalism in French sociology of capitalism, Søren Jagd; Social capital, trust and dependency, Anne Kovalainen. Investigations of Embeddedness: The social foundations of labour markets: foreign immigration in Portugal, João Peixoto; Social networks, collective action and public policy: the embeddedness idea reconsidered, Filippo Barbera; The insignificance of weak social ties and the uselessness of strong ones (with two case-histories of low-income families in Naples), Enrica Morlicchio; Informal support networks in the making of small independent businesses: beyond ’Strong’ and ’Weak’ ties?, Sokratis M. Koniordos. Investigations of Eastern European Capitalism: Informal institutional arrangements and tax evasion in Russian economy, Vadim Radaev; Security, trust, and cultural resources: Hungarian manufacturing enterprises in the post-socialist transformation, György Lengyel and Béla Janky; Young entrepreneurs in the new market economies: cultural and social capital as a basis for economic capital, Jochen Tholen; Social capital and economic performance in post-communist societies, Christian W. Haerpfer, Claire Wallace and Martin Raiser; Name index; Subject index.

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Sokratis M. Koniordos is Assistant Professor in Economic Sociology, Department of Sociology, University of Crete, Greece.


’Whether one is interested in the conceptualization and complex theoretical debates on the notions of social capital, trust and social network or in their application in concrete social contexts (particularly Eastern European ones), she/he will find in Koniordos’ volume a wealth of empirical material, useful information and penetrating insights. The book gives the reader an excellent overall picture, a sense of the state of the art...pivotal for the social sciences problem area.’ Nicos Mouzelis, Emeritus Professor, London School of Economics and Political Science, UK ’Social Capital has rapidly established itself as one of the central concepts in the social sciences. This book will surely establish a reputation for itself as the key application of this idea to economic sociology. It establishes a novel and distinctive orientation to the field and its contributors propose some intriguing ideas about the relationships between trust and network structure in a range of European economies.’ John Scott, Essex University, UK ’...provides the reader with a broader view of current thinking on economic sociology and networks, trust and social capital.’ Entrepreneurship and Innovation ’...a collection of engrossing essays based on the notions of social capital, networks and trust...a useful text for research-orientated readers as well as practicing professionals...the book will serve as a source of relevant reference for research in this area.’ Journal of Entrepreneurship