Social capital is a theoretical perspective with origins in sociology. Simply defined, social capital refers to the degree and quality of support and connections within and between one's social networks. Although social capital has been used as a theoretical framework in the literature as early as the 1960s, current interest in social capital is largely based on work by the French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu and the U.S. sociologist James Coleman in relation to an explanation of educational attainment. It has been increasingly used as an important perspective for explaining the significant differences in educational and occupational attainment based on race/ethnicity, gender, class, and even English language proficiency.

Scholars including Sandra Dika and Kusum Singh note that although both Bourdieu's and Coleman's work began with the attempt ...

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