How do we understand health in relation to society? What role does culture play in shaping our experiences of, and orientation to, health and illness? How do we understand medicine and medical treatment within a sociological framework?

Social Capital

Social Capital

Social capital
Orla McDonnell

Social capital is generally defined as the social resources that accrue to individuals by virtue of their membership of informal and formal social networks, and which may impact on their life chances and health.

Those who write about social capital do not always agree about how the concept might be defined. The construct involves components that are not always differentiated: the mechanisms that generate social capital; the types of resource that are made available; the outcome of possessing those resources; and the type of social network in which resources arise and are given material effect (Portes, 1998). Moreover, there is a distinction in the literature between those who describe social capital as a capacity of individuals to mobilize resources, and those who see ...

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