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Social Capital


Social capital refers to the benefits of social ties or position in an social network. The concept may be applied at both the actor and group levels.



  • actor level social capital

  • group level social capital

  • open and closed ego networks


  • Adler, P.S. & Kwon, S. 2002. Social capital: Prospects for a new concept. Academy of Management Review, 27: 17-40
  • Burt, R. S. (1992). Structural holes: The social structure of competition. Cambridge, MA:
    Harvard University Press.
  • Coleman, James S. 1988 "Social capital in the creation of human capital." American Journal of Sociology 94: 95-120
  • Putnam, Bowling Alone. [html]
  • Lin, N. 1999. Social Networks and Status Attainment. Annual Review of Sociology 23. [pdf link]





Concept and Definition

  • Coleman, J. S. (1990). Foundations of social theory. Cambridge: Belknap Press


  • Burt, R. 2003. The social origin of ideas. [PDF]
  • Portes, A., & Sensenbrenner, J. 1993. Embeddedness and immigration - Notes on the social determinants of economic-action. American Journal of Sociology, 98(6): 1320-1350. [link to pdf

Holes versus Closure Debate

  • Burt, R. 2001. Structural holes versus network closure as social capital. In N. Lin, K. S. Cook, & R. S. Burt (Eds.), Social Capital: Theory and Research: 31-56. New York: Aldine de Gruyter. [pdf]

Social Resource Theory

  • Flap, Hendrik D. & Nan D. DeGraff 1989 "Social capital and attained occupational status." Netherlands Journal of Sociology, 22: 145 161
  • Flap, H., Bulder, B.,&Volker, B. (1998). Intra-organizational networks and performance:A
    review. Computational & Mathematical Organizational Theory, 4, 109-147.
  • Lin, N. 1999. Social Networks and Status Attainment. Annual Review of Sociology 23. [pdf link]
  • Lin, Nan, Walter M. Ensel, and John C. Vaughn. 1981. Social Resources and Strength of Ties: Structural Factors in Occupational Status Attainment. American Sociological Review 46(4):393-405. [pdf link]
  • Lin, N. (2001). Social capital: A theory of social structure and action. Cambridge, MA:
    Cambridge University Press.

Group Level

  • Putnam, R. D. (2000). Bowling alone: The collapse and revival of American community.New York: Simon & Schuster.
  • Putnam, Bowling Alone. [html]
  • Bourdieu, P.,&Wacquant, L. J. D. (1992). An invitation to reflexive sociology. Chicago: University of Chicago Press

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