English title: Social Capital and Norms of Citizenship: An Ambiguous Relationship?

Author(s): Sonja Zmerli -

Language: English

Type: Journal article

Year: 2010


From a theoretical viewpoint, the consequences of social capital for norms of citizenship are usually perceived as benign. However, empirical evidence indicates that its impact may be detrimental. To investigate this phenomenon further, this article examines the specific nature of the relationships among social involvement, social trust, and four different types of norms of citizenship. Social capital acts on these norms in two different ways. First, it varies with the specific norms of citizenship. Second, the different components of social capital do not necessarily exert similar effects. In this article, the negative and significant relationships between social trust and norms of social order are revealed, indicating the “dark sides” of social capital. This finding challenges the common wisdom about the positive interrelationship between social capital and a citizenry’s public spiritedness in a democratic state.

Volume: 53

Issue: 5

From page no: 657

To page no: 676

Refereed: Yes

DOI: 10.1177/0002764209350829

Journal: American Behavioral Scientist

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