This book defines the current identity of community studies, provides a critical but reliable introduction to its key concepts, and is an engaging guide to the key social research methods used by community researchers and practitioners.

Concise but clear, it caters for the needs of those interested in community studies by offering cross-referenced, accessible overviews of the key theoretical issues that have the most influence on community studies today.

It incorporates all of the important frames of reference including those which are:

Theoretical; Research focused; Practice and policy oriented; Political; Concerned about the place of community in everyday life

The extensive bibliographies and up-to-date guides to further reading reinforce the aim of the book to provide an invaluable learning resource.

Interdisciplinary in approach and inventive in its range of applications this book will be of value to students studying sociology, social policy, politics and community development.

Social Capital

Social capital

‘Social capital’ is a term that has recently come much into vogue in political circles to describe those social networks and relationships associated with civic virtue and social responsibility, which involve communities and other social groups establishing common values, trust and cooperative ways of being and working together for mutual benefit.

Section Outline: This chapter first locates the origins of contemporary interest in social capital in de Tocqueville's and Durkheim's respective deep anxieties about democracy and moral life. Thereafter, it outlines the conceptual basis of Robert Putnam's social capital thesis. The rest of the chapter is devoted to discussing the key ideological, theoretical and empirical problems with this thesis and what these imply for its efficacy as a force for defeating inequality, injustice and ...

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