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Impact of economic status and occupation on social capital.

INTRODUCTION

The concept of Social capital has been discussed widely by social scientists and development agencies generating considerable theoretical and empirical research in this field. According to World Bank (1999) 'Social capital refers to institutions, relationships and norms that shape the quality and quantity of a society's social interaction. The central premise of social capital is that social networks have values. It refers to the collective value of all "social networks" (who people know) and the inclinations that arise from these networks to do things for each other (norms of reciprocity).

In the first half of the 19th century, Alexis de Tocqueville made certain observations about American life that seemed to outline and define social capital. He observed that Americans were prone to meeting at as many gatherings as possible to discuss all possible issues of state, economics, or the world that could be witnessed. The high levels of transparency caused greater participation from the people and thus allowed for democracy to work better.

L. J. Hanifan's 1916 article regarding local support for rural schools is one of the first occurrences of the term social capital in reference to social cohesion and personal investment in the community. Hanifan (1916) described 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". The central premise of social capital is that social networks have values. It refers to the collective value of all "social networks" (who people know) and the inclinations that arise from these networks to do things for each other ("norms of reciprocity")'.. The term 'social capital' is a relatively new concept and has been discussed extensively by social scientist such as Putnam (1993), Coleman (1988), Bourdieu (1980) and Fukuyama (1999). The concept arose because while neo-classical economists can explain only about 80 per cent of economic activities; remaining 20 per cent is explained by human nature and behaviour. Fukuyama (1999), Coleman (1988) and Putnam (1993, 2000) were unanimous in defining trust as a key component of social capital.

Bourdieu (1986) described social capital mainly in terms of networks of relations. He defined it as "the aggregate of the actual or potential resources which are linked to possession of a durable network of more or less institutionalized relationships of mutual acquaintance and recognition- or in other words, to membership in a group". Bourdieu described three dimensions of capitals each with its own relationship to class: economic, cultural and social capital. These three resources become socially effective, and their ownership is legitimized through the mediation of symbolic capital. Thus Bourdieu's concept of social capital is instrumental, focusing on the advantages to possessor of social capital and the "deliberate construction of sociability" for the purpose of creating this resource. James Coleman (1990) explained social capital as aspects of a social structure that function as a resource of the individuals in a group, claiming that social capital 'inhere in the structure of relation between persons and among persons'. Thus, social capital can be comprehended in the relations between individuals and groups, not in individuals per se. In other words, Coleman identified social capital in functional terms as a resource that the individual attempt to pursue and accumulate. He identified three forms of social capital: obligations and expectations, information channels, and norms. Putnam (1993) makes a distinction between two kinds of social capital: bonding capital and bridging capital. Bonding social capital is inward looking and refers to relations within homogeneous groups such as families or social or ethnic groups. But in order to create peaceful societies in a diverse multi-ethnic country, one needs to have a second kind of social capital: bridging. Bridging is evident when people make friends with others who are not like them, like supporters of another football team. Bridging social capital refers to relations between different groups, networks and encompasses people across diverse social cleavages. Fukuyama (1999) claims that concept like trust, networks, and civic society that have been associated with social capital are, in fact, only a secondary phenomenon, emerging as an outcome of social capital but not being social capital itself. His definition characterizes social capital as an informal norm that promotes cooperation between (two or more) individuals. Fukuyama (1995) argues that social capital is necessary pre-condition for successful development, but a strong rule of law and basic political institution are necessary to build social capital. He further believes that a strong social capital is necessary for a strong democracy and strong economic growth. The influence of social capital on education has been highlighted in number of studies (e.g., Braatz & Putnam, 1996; Temple, 1998, Francis et al. 1998). Temple (1998) found a significant positive association between social capital and schooling.

The aim of the present study is to examine the impact of economic status and father's occupation on individual's social capital. The following hypotheses have been formulated:

Hypotheses:

* The respondents of different economic status will not differ significantly in terms of their scores on different dimensions of social capital.

* The respondents whose fathers came from different occupational groups will not differ significantly in terms of their scores on different dimensions of social capital.

METHOD

Sample: Sample comprised of 200 students randomly drawn from degree colleges in the district of Vaishali (Bihar). While 111 students were male representing 55.5% of sample, the remaining 89 were female representing 44.5% of sample. The respondents were on average 25.25 (SD = 4.60) years old with the range of 20 to 28 years. The respondents were categorized on the level of economic status into three groups. 21% of them had annual family income below Rupees 50000, 30% having annual family income above Rupees 60000 and up to Rs 100000, and 49% having annual family income above Rupees 100000. Occupation of the respondent's father was categorized into four groups, such as 20.0% farmers, 33.5% businessmen, 11.5% belonging to labour class, and 35% service holders.

Measures: A questionnaire was developed by Lakshmi (2015) having two parts. Part one contained sixty statements pertaining to the participants' social capital. The statements measured social capital on a 5-point scale ranging from 'strongly agree' (5), agree (4), neither agree nor disagree (3), disagree (2) and strongly disagree (1). The sample statements were as follows: (i) you trust your friends; (ii) you talk freely with your friends.

Initially, the questionnaire comprised of 60 items to assess the social capital of the respondents. Subsequently, eight items were dropped on the basis of item analysis. Finally, responses to the remaining 52 items were factor analyzed using the principal component analysis (PCA) with rotated varimax solution on the criteria that eigenvalue should not be less than 1(one) and the factor must have acceptable reliability (alpha coefficient > .60). An initial analysis (SPSS-17 version) was run to obtain eigenvalue for each factor of the data.

Factor I was given the name, 'Bonding with friends'. The factor explained 78.20 per cent of the common variance and also showed higher reliability (rii = .80).

Factor II was given the name, 'Acceptance of system'. The factor explained 24.36 per cent of the common variance and also showed higher reliability (rii = .73).

Factor III was given the name, 'Support and cooperation'. This factor explained 34.64 per cent of the common variance and also showed higher reliability (rii = .72).

Factor IV was given the name, 'Selfishness'. This factor explained 12.93 per cent of the common variance and also showed higher reliability (rii = .60).

Factor V was given the name, 'Harmony'. This factor explained 14.50 per cent of the common variance and also showed higher reliability (rii = .68).

Part two of the questionnaire measured economic status and parental occupation of the respondents. Data were collected from April to August 2017.

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

In order to test the hypothesis that individual respondents from different economic groups would not differ significantly in terms of their scores on different factors of social capital, one-way ANOVA has been computed. Table 1 presents the summary of statistical analysis.

Table 1 displays those F-tests such as, acceptance of system (F 2/197=.67, p >.05), support & cooperation (F 2/197=.65, p >.05), are not statistically significant. Thus the respondents show the identical views on factors acceptance of system and support & cooperation of social capital. However, bonding with friends (F 2/197=4.17, p <.05), harmony (F 2/197= 4.11, p <.05) and selfishness (F 2/197= 3.21, p <.05) are statistically significant. It shows that the respondents of different economic groups differ significantly on bonding with friends, harmony and selfishness factors of social capital. The null hypothesis has been accepted in the case of acceptance of system and support & cooperation. However null hypothesis has been rejected in the case of bonding with friends, harmony and selfishness and alternative hypothesis has been accepted.

It is of the interest to see the direction of the differences among the different economic groups; so Mean & SD have been computed. Table 2 presents the summary of descriptive statistics.

Table 2 displays the mean & SD of economic level of respondents. The higher economic group of the respondents has highest mean scores of social capital factors such as bonding with friends (M=3.42, SD=.61), followed by average economic group (M=3.24, SD=.65) and low economic group (M=3.07, SD=.81). Acceptance of system, the low economic group of the respondents has higher mean scores (M=2.73, SD=.96) followed by high economic group (M=2.60, SD=.75) and average economic group (M=2.55, SD=.84). On factor support and cooperation, the higher economic group of respondents has highest mean scores (M=2.80, SD=.57), followed by average economic group (M=2.72, SD=.73) and low economic group (M=2.67, SD=.73). For selfishness, average economic group of the respondents has highest mean scores (M=3.16, SD=.87) followed by low economic group (M=2.95, SD=.98) and higher economic group (M=2.79, SD=.86). With regard to factor harmony, the higher economic group of the respondents has highest mean scores (M=4.46, SD=.56) followed by low mean scores (M=4.21, SD=.70) and average groups (M=4.21, SD=.67).

In order to test the hypothesis that the respondents whose fathers came from different occupational groups will not differ significantly in terms of social capital factors, One- way ANOVA has been computed. Table 3 presents the summary of the statistical findings.

Table 3 displays that F-test such as, bonding with friends (F 3/196 =2.42 p >.05), acceptance of system (F 3/196 =.39, p >.05), support & cooperation (F 3/196 = .84, p > .05), selfishness (F 3/196 =. 51, p >.05) and harmony (F 3/196 =.0 2, p >.05) are not statistically significant.

In order to compare the different occupational level of respondents on social capital factors, Mean & SD have been computed. Table 4 presents the summary of the descriptive statistics

Table 4 displays the mean & SD of occupational level of respondents. The service holder has highest mean scores on bonding with friends (M=3.40, SD=.66), followed by business (M=3.33, SD=.68), labour (M=3.28, SD=.88) and farmer (M=3.05, SD=.56). On acceptance of system labour group has highest mean scores (M=2.86, SD= .82) followed by service holder (M=2.64, SD=.74), farmer (M=2.54, SD=.99) and business (M= 2.53, SD= .79). The factor support & cooperation, service holder has highest mean scores (M=2.80, SD=.63) followed by farmer (M=2.78, SD=.74) business (M=2.71, SD= .67) and labour (M=2.68, SD=.54). The factor selfishness, business has highest mean scores (M=3.03, SD= .86) followed by farmer (M=3.02, SD= .96), service holder (M=2.85, SD=.93) and labour (M=2.80, SD=.79). On harmony factor, farmer has highest mean scores (M=4.45, SD=.47) followed by service holder (M=4.44, SD=.62), business (M=4.24, SD=.70) and labour (M=4.05, SD=.65).

In general, the study showed that economic status significantly influence bonding with friends, harmony and selfishness factors of social capital but economic status did not significantly influence acceptance of system and support & cooperation factors of social capital. The higher income group of the respondents had highest mean scores of social capital factors such as bonding with friends, support & cooperation and harmony; whereas lower income group of the respondents had highest mean scores on acceptance of system factor of social capital and middle income group had highest mean scores on selfishness factor of social capital. The study also showed that occupation of respondents' father did not significantly influence factors of social capital. In addition, there are several considerations that need to be taken into account when considering the findings of the current study. First, the study was primarily based on self-report data. As a result, the strength of relations between variable was overestimated due to common method of variance. Second, the nature and forms of social capital change over time as well as the multidimensional construct of social capital.

References

Bourdieu, P. (1980). Le capital social: notes provisoires, in: Actes de la Recherche en Sciences Sociales, Vol. 31, 2-3.

Bourdieu, P.(1986). The forms of capital.In J. Richardson (Ed.) Handbook of Theory and Research for the Sociology of Education (New York, Greenwood), 241-258.

Braatz, J., & Putnam, R. (1996). Families, Communities, and Education in America: Exploring the Evidence. Madison, WI: Wisconsin Center on Organization and Restructuring of Schools.

Coleman, J. S. (1988). 'Social capital in the creation of human capital.' The American pp. 94: S95.

Coleman, J. S. (1990). Foundation of social theory, Cambridge, MA: Harward University Press

Francis, P., Adelabu, M. A., Agi, S. P. I., Alubo, O., & Owoicho, G. (1998). "Hand Lessons: Primary Schools, Community, and Social Capital in Nigeria". World Bank Technical Paper, African Region Series; No-420. Washington, D.C.: World Bank.

Fukuyama, F. (1995). Social capital and the global economy. Foreign Affairs, 74, 89-103.

Fukuyama, F. (1999).Social capital and civic society. Paper presented at the IMF Conference on Second Generation Reforms, IMF Headquarters Washington, DC.

Hanifan, L. J. (1916). 'The rural school community center', Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 67, 130-138.

Lakshmi, S. (2015).Personality correlates of Social Capital. Unpublished Ph. D. Thesis, B R A Bihar University, Muzaffarpur (Bihar).

Putnam, R. D. (1993). "The prosperous community: Social capital and public life". The American Prospect 4.

Putnam, R. D. (2000). Bowling alone: the collapse and revival of American community.New York: Simon & Schuster.

Temple, J. (1998). "Initial Condition, Social Capital, and Growth in Africa." Journal of African Economics, 7(3), 309-47.

World Bank (1999). 'What is social capital?' PovertyNethttp://www.worldbank.org/poverty/scapital/whatsc.htm

Swarupa Lakshmi (*)

(*) Assistant Professor, Dept. of Psychology, S K Somaiya, Vinay Mandir College, Vidayavihar, Ghatkopar, East-Mumbai, - 400 077, India

Received: December 26, 2017

Revised: February 10, 2018

Accepted: March 29, 2018
Table 1: One-Way ANOVA Displaying the Effects of Different Income
Groups of Respondents on Factors of Social Capital

Factors                Groups   SS      MS    F df=2/197

Bonding with friends   Between    3.74  1.87  4.17 (*)
                       Within    88.35   .45
Acceptance of system   Between     .91   .45   .67
                       Within   133.73   .68
Support & cooperation  Between     .56   .28   .65
                       Within    84.55   .43
Selfishness            Between    5.08  2.54  3.21 (*)
                       Within   155.76   .79
Harmony                Between    3.21  1.61  4.11 (*)
                       Within    76.95   .39

(*) p <.05

Table 2: Comparisons of Mean & SD of Different Income Groups Scores on
Social Capital

Factors                Groups   N   Mean  SD

                       Low      42  3.07  .81
Bonding with friends   Average  60  3.24  .65
                       High     98  3.42  .61
                       Low      42  2.73  .96
Acceptance of system   Average  60  2.55  .84
                       High     98  2.60  .75
                       Low      42  2.67  .73
Support & cooperation  Average  60  2.72  .73
                       High     98  2.80  .57
                       Low      42  2.95  .98
Selfishness            Average  60  3.16  .87
                       High     98  2.79  .86
                       Low      42  4.21  .70
Harmony                Average  60  4.21  .67
                       High     98  4.46  .56

Low=below 50000, Average=60000-100000, High=above100000

Table 3: One-way ANOVA Displaying the Effect of Occupational Groups of
Respondents on Factors of Social Capital

Factors        Groups   SS      MS    F df= 3/196

Bonding with   Between    3.29  1.10  2.42
friends        Within    88.79   .45
Acceptance of  Between    2.03   .68   .39
system         Within   132.6    .68
Support        Between     .43   .14   .84
& Cooperation  Within    84.69   .43
Selfishness    Between    1.86   .62   .51
               Within   158.98   .81
Harmony        Between    3.68  1.23   .02
               Within    76.49   .39

All the F values are not significant

Table 4: Comparisons of Mean & SD of Social Capital Factors on
Occupational Groups

Factors        Groups    N   Mean  SD

               Farmer    41  3.05  .56
Bonding with   Business  67  3.33  .68
friends        Labour    22  3.28  .88
               Service   70  3.40  .86
               Farmer    41  2.54  .99
Acceptance of  Business  67  2.53  .79
system         Labour    22  2.86  .82
               Service   70  2.64  .74
               Farmer    41  2.78  .74
Support &      Business  67  2.71  .67
cooperation    Labour    22  2.68  .54
               Service   70  2.80  .63
               Farmer    41  3.02  .96
               Business  67  3.03  .86
Selfishness    Labour    22  2.80  .79
               Service   70  2.85  .93
               Farmer    41  4.45  .47
               Business  67  4.24  .70
Harmony        Labour    22  4.05  .65
               Service   70  4.44  .62
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Author:Lakshmi, Swarupa
Publication:Indian Journal of Community Psychology
Geographic Code:9INDI
Date:Sep 1, 2018
Words:2938
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