Sociability And Social Capital

Great Essays
II. Defining sociability and social capital, and examining the relationship between the two concepts.

Sociability and social capital has been a classic subject of debate within sociology and in various sectors of social science. Due to that, social capital has become one of the most argued notions from sociological theories and everyday life (Portes, 1998: 2). Despite the frequency of these subjects dealt in numerous researches, definitions on sociability and social capital differ amongst social scientists and they are still under debate how these concepts should be concretely elaborated. Especially, in terms of sociability is proposed and to be critiqued as problematic because it is commonly used as an umbrella term encompassing various
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Hanifan, was the first to acknowledge the concept of social capital (Farr, 2004: 7). Hanifan described the social capital as “those tangible assets that count for most in the daily lives of people: namely goodwill, fellowship, sympathy, and social intercourse among the individuals and families who make up a social unit” (Hanifan, 1916: 130). Pierre Bourdieu, a French social theorist, introduced the first contemporary definition of social capital in 1980. Bourdieu defined social capital as the aggregate of the actual or potential resources, which are linked to possession of a durable network of more or less institutionalized relationships of mutual acquaintance or recognition (Bourdieu, 1985; 248). Social capital is also defined as a variety of entities with two elements in common, which all consist of some aspect of social structures, in which facilitates certain action of actors, whether persons or corporate actors, within the structure (Coleman, 1988: S98). Putnam refers social capital as “the connections among individuals – social networks and the norms of reciprocity and trustworthiness that arise from them” (Putnam, 2000: 19). In which could be interpreted that social capital resides in relationships by the connected ring of trust (Hooghe & Stolle, 2003: 4). Social capital can be also referred as individual’s collection of social ties that provides access to resources, information or assistance …show more content…
One of the researches made in 1998, argues that the internet is causing the decline of psychological well being causing stress, depression and loneliness, therefore may well displace social activity as well as displacing strong ties (Kraut et al., 1998: 1025-1030). Therefore proposed in designing the technology and policy to avoid negative outcomes by the Internet. (Kraut et al., 1998: 1030). From another research, they have measured the difference in communication between Internet over different medias, comparing Internet users versus non-internet using social partners, and moreover measuring the significance of an online social group (Cummings, Butler & Kraut, 2002). And this research came to conclude, even though surveys show that the general public reveal that most people using the Internet appreciate email and other forms of online social interaction, it is not as useful as a phone call or a face-to-face meeting for developing and sustaining a social relationship (Cummings, Butler & Kraut, 2002: 108). A study named Internet and Society (IAS) led by Stanford Institute for Quantitative Study of Society (SIQSS), also found an negative relationship between Internet and sociability. This research was focused on the constraints on an individual’s time as the key to understanding the impact of Internet usage on interpersonal

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