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Title: Social Capital Across Different Residential Communities in China
Authors: YUAN XU
Keywords: Social Capital, Residential Communities, Urbanization, Housing Policy, Urban Attributes, Individual Characteristics
Issue Date: 5-Aug-2011
Citation: YUAN XU (2011-08-05). Social Capital Across Different Residential Communities in China. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Social Capital is an intangible asset residing in social relations, which could help improve the welfare of an individual and the group the individual belongs to. In academic research, social capital has been widely recognized as an important factor facilitating collective actions and social economic development as well as promoting individual success and well-being (e.g. Glaeser, Laibson, and Sacerdote,2002; Durlauf and Fafchamps, 2005; Helliwell and Wang, 2010). A residential community or neighborhood is a place where individuals may spend most of their spare time, and therefore, the social capital within a residential community is likely to be an important concern of improving residents? wellbeing. Although the location-specific nature of social capital in a residential context has been closely examined in developed economies like the US, little research has been conducted in China, the largest emerging economy of oriental culture. Using the China General Social Survey 2005 (CGSS 2005) and other sources of data, this study attempts to examine how individual characteristics and location attributes influence individual social capital, measured by four indicators-- the extent to which individuals are acquainted with (ACQUAINT) and trust their neighbors (TRUST), and to which they are interested and involved in community affairs (INVOLVE), and the frequency at which they exchange help with their neighbors (HELP). Conclusions obtained from this study highlight the need for policy attention to manage the potential decline in social capital, with rising affluence and income inequality in Chinese cities, at a time when social capital is much in need for building new urban communities. Measures should be taken to encourage social interactions in residential neighborhoods that promote social capital. Moreover, the importance of urban attributes in influencing social capital shows the need for more research in the future to improve our understanding of the role of the urban environment in social capital formation.
Appears in Collections:Master's Theses (Open)

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