A Clear Definition For Social Capital Essay

1429 Words Dec 6th, 2016 6 Pages
I still have not found a clear definition for social capital that I feel confident in sharing. To me, it seems that social capital is based off relationships, and can be measured by the amount and by the quality of relationships a person has. If meeting people is the key to expanding social capital, then what could be more vital than athletics? An immigrant, regardless of age, gender, or status, would have the opportunity to meet countless individuals through sports. For instance, let’s say a Chinese immigrant starts playing basketball at the gym with some other men. He begins playing with these men routinely, improves his English, and eventually becomes friends with some of them. All of a sudden, this Chinese immigrant has access to opportunities that he did not have previously. Additionally, he has learned more about American culture, and is more comfortable around people who are not Chinese; and maybe, the American men he played with are more comfortable with Chinese culture as well. This is the power of sport; sports have no boundaries, no nationality. They can function like an icebreaker, and enable people to get over preconceived notions that would otherwise prevent them from getting to know someone. Social capital theory, as described in Immigrant America, theorizes that immigrants move to certain areas and perform certain jobs, because of who they know. One passage reads: “... entrepreneurially oriented foreign groups make use of intra ethnic networks.. to compensate…

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