Putting social capital in its place

Das, Raju J., Capital & Class, September 22, 2006:

The popularity of the social-capital concept partly reflectsthe growing realisation among non-Marxist social scientists—for Marxists, economic processes are always social processes—that economic processes are linked to social relations, which , in turn, influence these processes (Granovetter,  1985). It also reflects the current worldwide neoliberal agenda. In particular, social-capital research onhow non-market processes such as the state, trust and customsgrease the wheels of market fits in well with the neoliberal agenda of making (imperfect) markets more efficient .Underneath the ever-growing popularity of social-capital literature there is a major problem, however. This literature,i n general, tends to under-stress the class character of social capital. I am not suggesting that the class character of socialcapital has been totally neglected. Indeed, a few scholars doattempt to incorporate the class dimension (Bourdieu, 1986;Duncan, 2001; Portes & Sensenbrenner, 1993), and this paperseeks to extend and contribute to that work.

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