Journal Article

Building Bridges and Bonds: Generating Social Capital in Secular and Faith-Based Poverty-to-Work Programs

William H. Lockhart

in Sociology of Religion

Published on behalf of Association for the Sociology of Religion

Volume 66, issue 1, pages 45-60
Published in print January 2005 | ISSN: 1069-4404
Published online January 2005 | e-ISSN: 1759-8818 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/4153115
Building Bridges and Bonds: Generating Social Capital in Secular and Faith-Based Poverty-to-Work Programs

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Is there a difference between the social capital developed in faith-based and secular poverty-to-work programs? Comparative field research investigating five faith-based and secular poverty-to-work programs in southeastern America finds that values expressed by a secular non-profit organization and two faith-based programs correspond with more activities that develop social capital than the programs run by a for-profit organization and a reinvented government agency. In all the programs this social capital is both ‘bridging,’ by crossing barriers of race, gender, and class, and ‘bonding’ by tying participants and staff into at least a temporary supportive community. The programs see that this social capital is effective in supporting low-income persons through the transition to full-time employment. In addition, the faith-based programs seek to extend the social capital by developing long-term ties between clients and local religious congregations. This paper also specifies how social capital is developed in these programs.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Sociology of Religion

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