IntroductionSocial capital is a web of societal interactions which are exemplified by a custom of trust and the nature of give-and –take. Pooled together, it is these characteristics that are believed to protract civil society and which allow individuals to act in thought of one another. Others would comprehend this as the basis for which persons in society are able to solve adversity they share in common. Social capital can also be said to be that communal deed that may lead to a broad array of results, whether expected or not.
For instance, a community may unite, willingly or not, based on their accepted beliefs to progress themselves democratically, economically, socially, or in terms of health or education or any other improvement in their quality of life. For instance, formation a professional body or a discussion group in school. Sobel (2002) writes that a decline in these group activities threaten the quality of societal consensus and the quality of existence. He reiterates that this decline has in-depth damaging consequences not only on the democratic frameworks, but on the effectiveness of learning institutions, communal health programmes as well as the socio-economic well being of societies. Overview of Social CapitalSocial Capital, has become a modern topic of discussion for many stakeholders in society.
It appears on the heading as well as body of many literature at such an enormous rate that it creates cause to decipher what social capital is, analyse what has been said about it as well as make necessary enquiries on what elements about it warrant deeper understanding or review. Among its very many areas of controversy has been its true meaning.
But quite frankly, there has been generic consensus in the works of many authors and writers on the the eventual impact of social capital than the understanding of what it is (Putnam, 2002). Putnam concedes that the union of social capital borders on the value addition of the networks themselves and the allied model of reciprocity. The value, however, is only for people who who participate in these networks or at some point in time interacted with the group. However, there could be spill-overs in some very rare cases.
He continues to elaborate, that there are different facets of social capital, public and private social capital. This collaborates with the work of Collier’s (1998), who also distinguishes between government social capital and civil social capital. In his definitions; the latter would imply on the common traditions, shared values, generally accepted behaviour, informal associations and the former would insinuate on the rule of law, the degree of civil rights and obligations as well as the validated social contracts. In networks, where the government social capital is non existent, oppressing or constrained in power, the civil social capital becomes predominant. This however does not completely nullify how others have classified social capital as there has been, up to date, a number of broad classifications.
But that is not the mandate of this essay. Since it is evident that there are different forms of capital and some are perceived as relevant and beneficial to certain aspects of human living while others are not. It is never clear how these forms should be aggregated to get an amalgamation that is 100 percent effective to the society just like it was that lucid, at first, to identify the conventional or appropriate proportional mix of physical capital to instrument to gain high productivity.