Social capital is the conception in sociology, economics and political science, which defines the social activity on all levels of the human society. Besides, there are many related terms (cultural capital, civil capital, etc) which are connected with the common idea of the importance of the society in the comparative analysis. In the one row with the physical capital (tools, machines) and human capital (level of education) the social capital increases the individual and group productiveness. Social capital develops during the long period of time and the social capital of a country is equal to its whole history, because the individuals and groups of people produced their own unique social norms which survived the centuries and left in the minds of their offspring. In the classical model of social capital there are three main components: the individual who shares his capital with the others; the person, who receives this social capital and the resource or the information and which is shared among the donor and recipient.
The major factors of the social capital are: social norms, social connections and trust. There are a few negative factors of the social capital: the stability and strict norms disable the novice candidates enter the group; the group can prevent one of its members from achievement of the success; it is difficult and even impossible to leave the group; in the groups with the high level of social capital the social control is so high, that it limits the human freedom. It can cause the reduction of the economic development of the group and rebellions among the youth (young people run from home, join the street gangs, etc).
Social capital is a difficult topic for the analysis, because the issue is quite controversial and blurred. It is impossible to measure the level of the social capital objectively and it is only known that social capital is the result of the economic and institutional development. While investigating the topic the student should read about the issue a lot in order to understand it well. One is expected to explain the meaning of social capital, defines its aspects, functions, theories of the capital, factors and methodology of its evaluation.
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