English title: Mapping social capital across Europe: findings, trends and methodological shortcomings of cross-national surveys

Author(s): Frane Adam -

Language: English

Type: Journal article

Year: 2008


Two sets of issues are elaborated and reflected on. The first one concerns the distribution of stocks of social capital across European (EU) nations. Using the conventional proxies like trust and associational involvement on the basis of data from cross-national surveys (European Values Study and European Social Survey as well as from Eurobarometer), the main tentative trends and patterns are outlined. The second set of issues refers to the quality and credibility of data. Concerning the first issue, it is possible to speak of four groups of countries with regard to the distribution of social capital at the European level. In contrast to the authors who argue that there are no large differences in mean scores across the national patterns, this analysis arrived at more differentiated conclusions. Between the first and fourth groups, a very clear bordeline can be drawn, while differences between the second and third groups are not so pronounced. In the context of the thematizing and critical reflection of the validity and comparability of the empirical evidence, some errors and inconsistencies were found. It seems that they appeared because of the countries-specific semantic-cultural as well as institutional factors, which did receive much attention either in the stage of preparing and conducting the survey or in the phase of interpreting and generalizing of the data.

Volume: 47

Issue: 2

From page no: 159

To page no: 186


DOI: 10.1177/0539018408089077

Journal: Social Science Information

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