Social Capital in the City: Community and Civic Life in Philadelphia

Overview

Much of today's heated academic discussion about "social capital" is either theoretical in nature or revolves around national survey data, neither of which adequately explains the specific social networks that actually sustain life in cities. This is the first book about social capital that both spans a broad range of social contexts and time periods and focuses on a single city, Philadelphia. Contributors examine such subjects as voter behavior, education, neighborhood life, church participation, park advocacy, ...
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Social Capital in the City: Community and Civic Life in Philadelphia

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Overview

Much of today's heated academic discussion about "social capital" is either theoretical in nature or revolves around national survey data, neither of which adequately explains the specific social networks that actually sustain life in cities. This is the first book about social capital that both spans a broad range of social contexts and time periods and focuses on a single city, Philadelphia. Contributors examine such subjects as voter behavior, education, neighborhood life, church participation, park advocacy, and political activism. The wide scope of the book reflects its concern for comprehending the uniqueness and diversity of urban social networks.

Moving beyond typical definitions, the original essays collected here utilize case studies to demonstrate how social capital is nested in larger structures of power and cannot be appreciated without an understanding of context. Arguing that urban society is "social capital writ large," contributors complicate and deepen our knowledge of a crucial concept and its fruitful applications.
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Product Details

Table of Contents

Introduction : the place that loves you back? 1
1 The 1876 Centennial in Philadelphia : elite networks and political culture 19
2 Bonfires, fistfights, and roaring cannons : election day and the creation of social capital in the city of Philadelphia 40
3 Community advocacy and volunteerism in Wissahickon Park, 1895-2005 56
4 Leveraging social capital : the university as educator and broker 81
5 Community-based education in West Philadelphia : the promise and limits of social capital production 101
6 Credit unions and social capital in Philadelphia 125
7 The comparative disadvantage of African American-owned enterprises : ethnic succession and social capital in black communities 141
8 Whose social capital? : how economic development projects disrupt local social relations 159
9 Rootedness, isolation, and social capital in an inner-city white neighborhood 177
10 Wellsprings of social capital : African American churchwomen in Philadelphia 196
Conclusion : the declining political value of social capital 209
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