Evolution of Social Capital


To gain insights into the evolution of the concept of social capital, including details of the historical timeline, associated key leaders/authors/experts, key moments, and activities. The historical information will be used to understand what is coming next in the trends surrounding social capital and its current gaps, needs, and opportunities.

Early Findings

  • Although the concept of social capital has been in existence for almost a century, it has only been coined relatively recently.
  • The concept has been associated with historical authors such as Simmel, Durkheim, Weber, and Marx, among others.
  • It has been linked to particular theories, such as psychological contact theory and social exchange theory.
  • Between 1915 and 1990, scholars such as Hanifan, Bourdieu, Coleman were involved with the concept of social capital.
  • Between 1990 and 2000, Putnam, Portes, Lin, Woolcock, Burt, Granovetterare some scholars who showed interest in the concept.
  • Community, society, politics, economics, public health, organizational development, education are some critical domains that shaped the concept of social capital in the period between 2000 and 2015.
  • Different scholars have fronted several definitions. For instance, Author Lyda Hanifan defined 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.”

Summary of Early Findings

  • From the initial hour of research, we gathered a few insights into the concept of social capital, including definition, some essential domains, and some scholars who have been involved in the evolution of the concept.
  • However, due to time restrictions, we could not delve deeper into the research to find all the needed information.
  • To allow the team to fulfill this research comprehensively, please proceed to choose one or more of the proposed next steps in the scoping section below.

Proposed next steps:

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