Social Capital and Institutional Constraints
A Comparative Analysis of China, Taiwan and the US
By Joonmo Son
Published July 23rd 2012 by Routledge – 174 pages
The sociological concept of social capital has grown in popularity in recent years and research programs in North America, Europe, and East Asia have demonstrated how social capital has a significant impact on occupational mobility, community building, social movement, and economic development.
This book uses new empirical data to test how social capital works in different societies with diverse political-economic and cultural institutions. Taking a comparative approach, this study focuses on data from three different societies, China, Taiwan, and the United States, in order to reveal the international commonalities and disparities in access to, and activation of, social capital in labor markets. In particular, this book tests whether political economic and cultural differences between capitalist and socialist economic systems and between Western and Confucian cultures create different types of individual social networks and usages. This comparison leads to Joonmo Son’s fundamental argument that the institutional constraints of a society’s political economy on the one hand, and culture on the other, profoundly impact on both the composition and utilization of social capital.
Based on rigorous statistical analysis, this book will be essential reading for students and scholars of social capital, economic sociology, and comparative politics.
1. A Comparative study of social capital 2. Accessed and activated social capital 3. Institutional constraints 4. Theoretical models and hypotheses 5. Data, methods and measures 6. Accessed social capital among the three societies 7. Social capital and status attainment 8. Social capital and institutional constraints
Joonmo Son is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the National University of Singapore.