Social Capital: Its Origins and Applications in Modern Sociology

  title={Social Capital: Its Origins and Applications in Modern Sociology},
  author={Alejandro Portes},
  journal={Review of Sociology},
  • A. Portes
  • Published 1 August 1998
  • Sociology
  • Review of Sociology
This paper reviews the origins and definitions of social capital in the writings of Bourdieu, Loury, and Coleman, among other authors. It distinguishes four sources of social capital and examines their dynamics. Applications of the concept in the sociological literature emphasize its role in social control, in family support, and in benefits mediated by extrafamilial networks. I provide examples of each of these positive functions. Negative consequences of the same processes also deserve… 

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