More on Social Capital

Charles Dobson, The Troublemaker's Teaparty. An updated guide from the author of the terrific Citizen's Handbook.

Stephen Post and Jill Neimark, Why Good Things Happen to Good People (2007). Explains in a very accessible book the health benefits of volunteering or doing good deeds for others.

David Wilson, Evolution for Everyone: How Darwin's Theory Can Change the Way We Think About Our Lives (2007). Provides a terrific 'big picture' of evolution in layman's terms, useful for understanding the connection between evolution and social phenomena as broad as trust, morality, cheating, smiling and social capital.

Barbara Ehrenreich, Dancing in the Streets: A History of Collective Joy (2007). Chronicles the role of the Christian church in suppressing public festivals and rituals that had dated back to cavemen days. The church feared that such carnivals (dancing, feasting, costuming, etc.) connected common man to God and undermined their authority. Europeans paid a heavy price with the suppression of these celebrations, starting in the 16th century: decreased joy, less healing, more social disconnection.

Rosalind Edwards, Jane Franklin and Janet Holland (eds.), Assessing Social Capital: Concept, Policy and Practice (Taylor and Francis, 2006). Edited volume has pieces by renowned researchers on issues like social capital theory, policy development, and how to use social capital in research/practice.

Eric M. Uslaner, Corruption, Inequality, and the Rule of Law: The Bulging Pocket Makes the Easy Life (Cambridge Univ. Press, 2010). Some draft chapters of MS here.

Jay Walljasper, The Great Neighborhood Book: A Do-It-Yourself Guide to Placemaking (2007). From the Project for Public Spaces, a compendium of inspiring examples of how people have and are improving their neighborhoods, highlighting two dozen case study examplars.

Allison Fine, Momentum: Igniting Social Change in the Connected Age (2006). Deals with the ways in which technology (social media) can be used to mobilize young Americans to bring about change. Read interview with author here.

Michael Woodcock et al. (eds.), The Search for Empowerment: Social Capital As Idea And Practice at the World Bank, (2006). Explores the change process within the World Bank around the introduction of social capital into its development paradigm.

Adam Davis and Elizabeth Lynn (eds.), The Civically Engaged Reader (2006). This volume from the Great Books Foundation is a collection of essays from authors like Franz Kafka, Toni Morrison, Jane Addams, Bertolt Brecht, and Abraham Lincoln.

Daniel Goleman, Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relationships (2006). Using recent neuroscience research, describes social intelligence as awareness of other people and sensitivity toward them. His discussion of how such social skills get passed from parents to children is extremely interesting. His book also distinguishes between a "low road" (more innately learned emotional response) and a "high road" that can repattern and rework emotions.

Jody Gittell, The Southwest Airlines Way (2005). Describes how Southwest Airlines achieved success in the airline industry through relational competence (basically social capital, e.g. improving the trust and communication among and between functional groups that needed to coordinate to quickly turn around aircraft on the ground).

John Bowen, Why the French Don't Like Headscarves: Islam, the State, and Public Space (Princeton Univ. Press, 2006). Discusses the French concept of laïcité (loosely translated as secularism).

Dana Fisher, Activism, Inc. (2006). Explains the cost of the political left's outsourcing their canvassing to college students on commission.

Arthur Brooks, Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth About Compassionate Conservatism (Basic Books, 2006). Asserts that religious conservatives are more generous than liberals.

Arlene Goldbard, New Creative Community: The Art of Cultural Development (2006). Discusses how community-driven art can transform American society.

Tom Hamburger and Peter Wallstein, One Party Country: The Republican Plan for Dominance in the 21st Century (2006). Describes the GOP's massive data-gathering effort that enables them to micro-target voters and mobilize most likely voters based on issues of greatest interest to them.

Ron Fournier, Douglas B. Sosnik and Matthew J. Dowd, Applebee's America (Simon & Schuster, 2006). Discusses new techniques for connecting to other Americans (using Internet, religion, etc.).

Alistair Cooke, The American Home Front, 1941-1942 (2006). Posthumously published, this remarkable book conveys the social capital built by the Greatest Generation during the Second World War.

Jo Anne Schneider, Social Capital and Welfare Reform: Organizations, Congregations, and Communities (2006). Through rich ethnographic studies, Schneider shows that the social relationships and patterns of trust that enable people to gain access to resources like government services, organization funding, and jobs are crucial in helping families achieve their goals.

Richardson Dilworth (ed.), Social Capital in the City: Community and Civic Life in Philadelphia (2006). Discusses social capital in The City of Brotherly Love across both social contexts and time periods, with contributions discussing voter behavior, education, neighborhood life, church participation, park advocacy, and political activism.

Calvin Morrill, David A. Snow, and Cindy H. White (eds.), Together Alone: Personal Relationships in Public Places (Univ. California Press, 2005). Describes how Americans crave fleeting relationships in public places.

Karen S. Cook, Russell Hardin and Margaret Levi, Cooperation Without Trust? (NY, Sage Pub., 2005). On how economic actors can still beneficially cooperate even in the absence of trust.

Dave Campbell, Why We Vote: How Schools and Communities Shape Our Civic Life (Princeton University Press, 2005).

 

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Other Sources

Information about social capital and the Social Capital Community Benchmark Survey:

Our own Saguaro Seminar site

Provides overview of Professor Putnam’s work to date, as well as the historical Saguaro Seminar meetings, and has links to various other social capital research and publications (Bowling Alone, Better Together, Social Capital Community Benchmark Survey [SCCBS]).

www.bowlingalone.com
Through vast new data, Putnam’s book shows how we have become increasingly disconnected from family, friends, neighbors, and our democratic structures and how we may reconnect.

www.bettertogether.org
Better Together is the Saguaro Seminar
report based on three years of dialogue
among a diverse group of thinkers and
doers. This report details promising
strategies and recommendations for
increasing our social capital through
faith-based efforts, schools and youth,
the workplace, politics, and the arts.

Social Capital Community Benchmark Survey
Home page of the Social Capital Community Benchmark Survey (SCCBS) describing goals, methods, metrics, participants, results, etc.

Social Capital Gateway
The Social Capital Gateway is a fine site on social capital worldwide, including recent books, theses, social capital events and conferences, and basic readings on social capital.


Observatory Pascal often has links to new, interesting research on social capital.

InfEd provides an overview and bibliography related to social capital.

Civic Practices Network
This site has a good description of social capital. There are also definitions of other related civic words in their CPN dictionary.