Understanding Social Capital

Nishikant Singh, Priyanka Koiri


Although the term ‘social capital’ comes from western lexicon, but it has been used in several forms in India. It has enjoyed an impressive upsurge across the social sciences,development studies and policy-making discourses. This paper provides a brief introduction to the origin of the term with Indian and western connotations along with recent theoretical backup and links between social cohesion, quality of governance,economic performance and human welfare. Despite some limitations of social capital,the literature indicates that it makes an unquestionable input to economic development and overall wellbeing. The advent of social capital theory grounded serious sound academic research in social sciences and established the link between social economics and mainstream economics. This paper argues that social capital cannot be separated from social and political contexts for meaningful economic activities.

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