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Social Capital

  • By: Chul-joo Lee
  • In: Encyclopedia of Health Communication
  • Edited by: Teresa L. Thompson
  • Subject:Public Health Education & Health Promotion, Health Psychology, Health Communication

Although the term social capital was first developed and employed by political scientists, sociologists, and economists, it has become one of the most widely used concepts by health communication scholars in particular, and social scientists in general. Social capital refers to either the infrastructure of any social group (including communities) or the resources available to either individuals or groups. By developing accurate and reliable measures of media use, communication scholars have helped identify predictors of social capital that remained underexplored by scholars from other disciplines. Health communication scholars have revealed the important roles of social capital in the contexts of media health campaigns, news consumption, the doctor–patient relationship, and interpersonal communication and social support.

Originally, the concept of social capital was proposed by sociologists such as ...

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