Pint Sized Social Capital?

Turkish Kids playing…sorry social networking and developing some social capital which may or may not be readily convertible into the bridging type? Confused? Read On!

Our question for the seminar this Monday 12th is as follows:

“Why, according to Leonard, should we apply different criteria in thinking about Children and young people’s social capital?”

Note for this essay you need to understand what social capital is, before you go on to debate how the author suggests it should be seen differently.

Notice that the author begins by noting how contested the notion of social capital really is-indeed one could argue it seems close to the sociological concept of agency. Indeed Bourdieu who develop the term probably meant by it how the middle classes find ways of projecting their wealth and status via culture, education and social networks. A type of power relationship.

How do Coleman and Putnam define social capital?

Is social capital all about activity-networking and socialization, or is it about certain outcomes-trust between people, or both?

What does the author mean by convertability and why may this be problematic both in general and especially for kids.

To what extent has the new sociology of childhood challenged the view that kids are passive bearers of their parents values and beliefs…do kids merely borrow their parents social capital?

Where do children then develop their social capital and with whom?

To what extent is Coleman’s work on social capital paradoxical in what it implies about wealthy, larger and busier families-do they have more or less social capital?

Can you provide some detail about the case studies the authors used? To what extent can we generalize from these…what are their  limits?

The author suggests Coleman’s analysis of the families in questions leads to rather conservative interpretations…why?

Also can we notice how the absence of money or poverty (real capital) trumped social capital as a key variable in the studies…what does this mean about the concept of social capital?

Why does the author move on to a discussion about leisure and why would this be important for social capital?

How could strong social capital compensate in ways for poverty-of is this a dangerous idea?

How were children linked in to the wider community?

What was the distinction between bonding and bridging social capital and why would this matter for children?

There is also a discussion on children’s economic activities-how might this be a form of social capital? In what ways did it also reveal the ‘dark side of social capital’.

Moreover, does the article end on a positive or negative note about the potential for children’s social capital and why?



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