Informal aspects of social capital: Developments in the Netherlands 1970-1998
SourceThe Netherlands' Journal of Social Sciences, 39, 2, (2003), pp. 87-106
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI SCP
The Netherlands' Journal of Social Sciences
SubjectBehaviour Change and Well-being; Inequality Cohesion Rationalization; Ongelijkheid Cohesie Rationalisatie
In this study, we set out to answer questions related to the supposed decline of social capital in Dutch society over the period 1970-1998. We conceptualized informal aspects of social capital as pertaining to informal social relationships and mutual trust that may provide individuals with extra resources to produce various utilities. The operationalization referred to social contacts (with family, neighbours, and friends), voluntary help provision, participation in voluntary work, and level of trust. Using longitudinal data collected over the period 1970-1998, we tested hypotheses on the decline of social capital in the Dutch population in general as well as within specific social categories related to denomination, marital status, and cohort. We found that, in general, there is no sign of declining social capital over the period of investigation. The findings show that regular churchgoers, married people, the middle class, and particularly the cohort of baby boomers have high levels of social capital.
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