chapter  1
16 Pages

Social Capital in a Comparative Perspective

ByNAN LIN, YANG-CHIH FU AND CHIH-JOU JAY CHEN

Social capital has become a signifi cant and global research enterprise in social science. Many theoretical and empirical approaches have sustained its growth and development (Lin 1999b). One particular paradigm is based on the understanding that social capital consists of resources embedded in social relations and social networks (Lin 1982, 2001a, 2001c). A theory of social capital therefore focuses on the access to and mobilization of resources embedded in social relations and social networks. Research has explored factors aff ecting such access and mobilization, the development of standardized measurements for access and mobilization and their diff erential consequences. This paradigm, with its insistence on synchronization of theory, measurement and research, has accumulated considerable and consistent knowledge over the past two decades (Lin, Cook and Burt 2001; Lin, Fu and Hsung 2001; Lin and Erickson 2008).