Social capital and health in the Swedish welfare state

Mikael Rostila

in Health inequalities and welfare resources

Published by Policy Press

Published in print December 2006 | ISBN: 9781861347589
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447302483 | DOI:
Social capital and health in the Swedish welfare state

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This chapter deals with the mysterious and obscure concept of ‘social capital’. It discusses how this popular, but somewhat mysterious concept has been understood in the research literature. It demonstrates how the distribution of the preconditions for social capital, such as informal and formal social contacts, differ between various groups in Sweden and how this, in turn, influences health. It notes that welfare state institutions have been seen as important for the emergence of social capital and for the development of trust and solidarity in society. It also discusses the role of the welfare state in maintaining, creating, or perhaps even destroying the preconditions for social capital in a society.

Keywords: social capital; social contacts; Sweden; health; welfare state; society

Chapter.  9333 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Health, Illness, and Medicine

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