Bonding vs. Bridging Social Capital: new evidence from America

Robert Putnam‘s latest work on ethnic diversity and social capital, which shows a negative correlation between the two, has been published: Putnam, R.D. (2007) E Pluribus Unum: Diversity and Community in the Twenty-first Century. The 2006 Joahn Skytte Prize Lecture”, Scandinavian Political Studies, 30(2):137-174. The study presents results based on the data from the 2000 Social Capital Community Benchmark Survey. Another survey has been carried out in 2006. It will be interesting to look at the over time changes when the findings from the new survey are made available.

Notwithstanding the debate which will certainly ensue, due to the policy implications of Putnam’s findings, the study shows the importance of looking at the exogenous factors which influence the formation of social capital, measured as social networks of reciprocity and social trust. A review article can be found in the Guardian here.

About Corinna

Corinna di Gennaro (BSc LSE; MPhil, DPhil, Oxon) is a Fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society, at Harvard Law School.
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