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In social theory, the concept of capital is mainly used in reference to one of the central categories of Marx's critique of political economy. In recent years, there have been discussions about different types of capital, especially about the sources and dynamics of “social capital.” Economic and social sciences initially adopted the word capital from the language of merchants. Latin in origin, capitale meant live-stock, counted per heads (caput). Since in early times, cattle was the commodity by which all other commodities were valued, later on, capitale was used to mean “money” or “investment of money.”

In the nineteenth century, “capital” became the epitome of a conception of economy and society that assigned the leading role to the rapidly growing industrial production. Even before, the Physiocrats ...

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