Chapter

Accounts of social capital: the mixed health effects of personal communities and voluntary groups

David A. Leon and Gill Walt

in Poverty, Inequality, and Health

Published in print November 2000 | ISBN: 9780192631961
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191723599 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780192631961.003.0008
Accounts of social capital: the mixed health effects of personal communities and voluntary groups

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This chapter considers studies which show positive associations between social capital and health, and others which show no such association. It argues that that failure to show positive results is not necessarily methodological but has to do with the ambiguous nature of social capital itself. It describes some of the roots of the idea of social capital in 19th-century sociology, and suggests that it is the very power of these ideas that has prevented us from seeing the mixed effects of social capital.

Keywords: social capital; health; life expectancy; health effects; inequality; mortality

Chapter.  7581 words. 

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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