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Social Capital [Paperback]

David Halpern
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: 18.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

15 Oct 2004 0745625487 978-0745625485 New Ed
The concept of ′social capital′ is currently the focus of an explosion of interest in the research and policy community. It refers to the social networks, informal structures and norms that facilitate individual and collective action. This explosion of interest is driven by a growing body of evidence that social capital has enormous effects on economic growth, health, crime and even the effectiveness and functioning of governments. David Halpern provides a guide through the many and sometimes confusing definitions of social capital. The various literatures examining the empirical consequences of social capital are brought together from across academic disciplines to demonstrate a remarkable range of effects. A model is then presented to account for the causal pathways that create social capital, and that lead from social capital to its outcomes. International evidence is used to establish whether social capital is on the decline, and the thorny question of whether social capital can harm or exclude is also examined. Finally, the policy implications are considered, including how social capital can be measured, created and utilized. Social Capital offers an overview of one of the most important and exciting areas to emerge out of the social sciences in many years. It assumes no previous knowledge of the literature or statistics, and will be of interest to students and researchers in politics, sociology, social administration and social psychology and to the general reader interested in finding out more about how social capital affects all our lives.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Polity Press; New Ed edition (15 Oct 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0745625487
  • ISBN-13: 978-0745625485
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 15.2 x 22.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 323,087 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

David Halpern is Deputy Director of the Insitute for Government in London. He also heads the new Behavioural Insight Team at 10 Downing Street on secondment from the Institute (from 2010).

David was previously Chief Analyst in the Prime Minister's Strategy Unit for Tony Blair (2001-7). Before that was a lecturer at the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, Cambridge. He has also held posts Nuffield College Oxford, the Center for European Studies at Harvard, and the Policy Studies Institute, London.

He is also a cofounder and trustee of the Halpern Foundation, which supports people suffering from mental health problems in the South East of England. He is married with two boys.

Product Description

Review

"This is an excellent book. It is well–written in an informal and engaging style. It is very comprehensive in coverage, both in terms of large topics and in terms of the relevant literature. It is nuanced, balanced, and authoritative in tone. The micro–, meso–, macro–framework works very well indeed. This book will instantly become the best overall introduction so far to the rapidly increasing literature on social capital. I will surely use it in my own graduate and undergraduate teaching. This is a kind of book that I wish I had written myself." Robert Putnam, Harvard University; author of Bowling Alone

From the Back Cover

The concept of ′social capital′ is currently the focus of an explosion of interest in the research and policy community. It refers to the social networks, informal structures and norms that facilitate individual and collective action. This explosion of interest is driven by a growing body of evidence that social capital has enormous effects on economic growth, health, crime and even the effectiveness and functioning of governments. David Halpern provides a guide through the many and sometimes confusing definitions of social capital. The various literatures examining the empirical consequences of social capital are brought together from across academic disciplines to demonstrate a remarkable range of effects. A model is then presented to account for the causal pathways that create social capital, and that lead from social capital to its outcomes. International evidence is used to establish whether social capital is on the decline, and the thorny question of whether social capital can harm or exclude is also examined. Finally, the policy implications are considered, including how social capital can be measured, created and utilized. Social Capital offers an overview of one of the most important and exciting areas to emerge out of the social sciences in many years. It assumes no previous knowledge of the literature or statistics, and will be of interest to students and researchers in politics, sociology, social administration and social psychology and to the general reader interested in finding out more about how social capital affects all our lives.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Social capital has become a buzzword among political and academic elites, though the term remains relatively unfamiliar to the general public. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
This is an excellent introductory work on the much discussed concept of 'social capital' by a senior policy advisor to the Labour government.
Building on the work of others, most notably Robert Putnam, Halpern seeks to define what is meant by the term, what relevance it has for different areas of life - whether it be health, crime, the economy etc - surveys the 'stock' of social 'capital' throughout the world and finally asks the question of what can be done to accrue it.
As a concept 'social capital' is useful for it implies that the social connections between people, their level of 'interconnectedness,' the extent of social cohesion in both their micro and macro forms in communities and in society as a whole really does matter. It matters for your health, for your job, for your bank balance, for levels of crime and for every other area of life. Durkheim and his famous work on the environmental impact on suicide rates was right, Thatcher, and her contention that society (abstract as it is) doesnt exist, was wrong.
David Halpern explains all this in his book far better than I can in a way that is comprehensible for those who are beginners in terms of the subject matter and detailed enough for those that are not.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An introduction ... 24 Jan 2009
Format:Paperback
A wonderful introduction! Most writers apply the concept of social capital to their own narrow area of interest. Halpern, by contrast, has written a wide-ranging, critical(at times he criticises Putnam and Coleman!) introductory book that is accessible to 3rd year undergraduates and above. He brings the subject alive.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An extremely fine book 8 Sep 2008
By Ron Westrum - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
When I picked up this book by chance in the library, I was unprepared for the quality of its fine writing and great breadth of integration. David Halpern has written a masterpiece of social science. Both interesting and profound, the book covers an enormous range of topics, relating all of them to social capital. I felt as if a new land had opened up and welcomed me in. One of the ten best books I have read. Highly recommended. Ron Westrum
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Overall Introduction to Social Capital on the Market 27 Jun 2011
By Paul D. Holeva - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This was by far the most comprehensive and accessible introduction to social capital that I have ever read, and I received my graduate degree working on this topic so I've read a few of these. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in learning about Social Capital, and would even recommend reading this volume before attempting Putnam's classic "Bowling Alone". As Putnam himself is quoted on the back cover, this is the book he wishes he had written.
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