Social Capital in a Community Context: A Multilevel Analysis of Individual- and Community-Level Predictors of Social Trust
Concern with what Putnam (2000) referred to as ‘‘civic malaise’’ is among the most enduring research projects in sociology. Early social philosophers such as Durkheim and Simmel attributed the widespread decline in community sentiments and social bonds to broader ecological processes related to urbanization and the division of labor (Berry & Kasarda, 1977, pp. 53-54). Systematic variation in civic involvement and community sentiments can also be demonstrated at the community level (Huckfeldt, 1979; Sampson, 1988, 1991). Similarly, Putnam’s explanation of social conditions favorable to the emergence of social capital suggests testable hypotheses about the impact of community-level characteristics, such as the density of networks of social exchange (p. 136).