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Rethinking Social Capital

Hardback

Rethinking Social Capital

9781800379787 Edward Elgar Publishing
Carl L. Bankston III, Professor of Sociology, Department of Sociology, School of Liberal Arts, Tulane University, US
Publication Date: May 2022 ISBN: 978 1 80037 978 7 Extent: c 192 pp
Combining theoretical approaches with practical applications, Rethinking Social Capital delineates the meaning, uses, and problems surrounding the concept of social capital. Carl Bankston, a leading scholar in the field, offers a fresh take on the topic, presenting an original way of understanding social capital as a process.

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Combining theoretical approaches with practical applications, Rethinking Social Capital delineates the meaning, uses, and problems surrounding the concept of social capital. Carl Bankston, a leading scholar in the field, offers a fresh take on the topic, presenting an original way of understanding social capital as a process.

The book provides key definitions of social capital, describing its functionality, the surrounding theoretical issues, and its relationship with social structure. Examining capital in its various forms, Bankston discusses the complications of defining social relationships in a financial resource analogy as investments in future outcomes, and proposes an alternative of an original structural model that approaches social capital as a process. Chapters then explore the major applications of social capital theory: to families, communities and education; to formal organizations and informal networks; to class, race, ethnicity and inequality; and to the nation-state. 

This cutting-edge book is invaluable in clarifying ambiguities surrounding the concept of social capital to students and scholars of the social sciences. Its practical applications will also prove useful to policy makers and public policy institutes.
Critical Acclaim
‘Rethinking Social Capital demystifies the idea of social capital and clarifies the various ways in which the term is used. Bankston thoughtfully and critically brings the disparate theoretical elements into a coherent model and applies it to investigating how social categories serve as historical sources of social networks and how different forms of networks within categories sustain social stratification. The book is beautifully written, and the narrative is captivating and engaging, offering a nuanced approach to understanding the roots of socioeconomic, racial, and ethnic inequality, as well as the contributions and limits of social capital theory.’
— Min Zhou, University of California, Los Angeles, USA

‘Carl Bankston has produced an important book that, I predict, will be read with profit by social scientists for many years to come. His theoretical analysis of “social capital” is original, comprehensive, rigorous and provocative. His critical mastery of the relevant literature is unrivalled. Rethinking Social Capital is a major achievement.’
– Glenn Loury, Brown University, US
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