1st Edition

Social Capital at the Community Level An Applied Interdisciplinary Perspective

Edited By John M. Halstead, Steven C. Deller Copyright 2015
    232 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    232 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    In Social Capital at the Community Level, John Halstead and Steven Deller examine social capital formation beyond the individual level through a variety of disciplines: planning, economics, regional development, sociology, as well as non-traditional approaches like engineering and built environmental features. The notion of social capital in community and economic development has become a focus of intense interest for policy makers, practitioners, and academics.  The notion is that communities with higher levels of social capital (networks, trust, and norms) will prosper both economically and socially. In a practical sense, how do communities use the notion of social capital to build policies and strategies to move their community forward? Are all forms of social capital the same and do all have a positive influence on the community? To help gain insights into these fundamental questions Social Capital at the Community Level takes a holistic, interdisciplinary or systems approach to thinking about the community. 

    While those who study social capital will acknowledge the need for an interdisciplinary approach, most stay within their disciplinary silos. One could say there is strong bonding social capital within disciplines but little bridging social capital across disciplines. The contributors to Social Capital at the Community Level have made an attempt to build that bridging social capital. While disciplinary biases and research approaches are evident there is significant overlap about how people with different disciplinary perspectives think about social capital and how it can be applied at the community level. This can be from neighborhoods addressing a localized issue to a global response to a natural disaster. This book is an invaluable resource for scholars, researchers and policy makers of community and economic development, as well as rural sociologists and planners looking to understand the opaque process of social capital formation in communities.

    FOREWORD. Social Capital Theory and Practice Twenty Years Out. Mark R. Warren CHAPTER 1. Social capital and community development: An introduction. John M. Halstead and Steven C. Deller. CHAPTER 2. A Brief History of Social Capital Research. Shannon H. Rogers and Patricia M. Jarema. CHAPTER 3. How the built environment affects social capital at the community level. Kevin M. Leyden and Abraham Goldberg. CHAPTER 4. Social Capital, Communities, and the Firm. Bjorn Markeson and Steven C. Deller. CHAPTER 5. Social Capital, County Information Networks and Poverty Reduction. Stephan J. Goetz and Yicheol Han. CHAPTER 6. Measuring social capital at the neighborhood scale through a community based framework. Shannon H. Rogers and Kevin H. Gardner CHAPTER 7. Social Capital and Community Planning. Mary A. Friedman and Andria V. Fraser. CHAPTER 8. The relationship between social capital and ecosystem services: A regional analysis. Patricia M. Jarema and John M. Halstead CHAPTER 9. The Role of Natural Disasters and Technology in the Formation of Social Capital. Mark Skidmore and Hideki Toya. CHAPTER 10. Latino/a Immigration, Social Capital, and Business Civic Engagement in Rural Prairie Towns. Terry L. Besser and Nancy J. Miller CHAPTER 11. Social capital: What do we know? And where do we go from here?


    John M. Halstead is Professor of Environmental Economics at the University of New Hampshire, Durham, New Hampshire, USA. He received his PhD in Agricultural and Applied Economics from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, MS in Resource Economics from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, and BA from the University of Notre Dame.

    Steven C. Deller is Professor of Agricultural Economics at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin, USA. He received his PhD in Agricultural Economics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, his MS in Economics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and his BA in Economics from Western Illinois University.

    "This is an important and timely book. By focusing on community social capital, the contextual nature of the variable and its implications for social justice are illuminated. The authors confront potential of social capital for increasing as well as decreasing inequality and poverty theoretically, empirically, and with concrete cases." - Cornelia Butler Flora, Charles F. Curtiss Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Sociology, Agriculture and Life Sciences, Kansas State University

    "The field of community development witnessed something of a 'paradigm shift' with the emergence of local asset-based strategies. None of these has proven to be as significant as that of social capital formation. This book is the very first comprehensive assessment and discussion of social capital in the context of community development practice and thus constitutes a major contribution. " - Mark Lapping, Distinguished Professor, Edmund S. Muskie School of Public Service, University of Southern Maine

    "Social Capital at the Community Level is a unique contribution to social capital and community development literature. Bringing together scholars from four disciplines, the book provides new insight into how social capital works at the local level and how it affects important economic and social outcomes (small business development, poverty reduction, trust, …). It is a must-read for those involved in local community development and rural wealth creation efforts." - Bruce Weber, Professor of Applied Economics, Oregon State University