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This book examines the social aspects of healthy ageing for older individuals. It features more than 15 papers that explore the relevance of the social environment for health on the micro, meso, and macro level. Overall, the book applies a comprehensive contextual approach that includes discussion of how family and friends, neighborhoods, nations, and welfare regimes influence health. The book first explores the issue on the individual level. It looks at the importance of social capital for health among older people, examines types of social networks and health among older Americans, as well as discusses dynamic social capital and mental health in late life. Next, the book looks at the issue through a neighborhood and societal context, which takes into account day-to-day interaction in the immediate environment as well as the social, health, and economic policies in place in different regions in the world, including America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. From there, the book goes on to offer implications and recommendations for research and practice, including the management of related concepts of research on well-being and health. It also offers a psychosocial approach to promoting social capital and mental health among older adults. This book provides health professionals as well as researchers and students in gerontology, sociology, social policy, psychology, and social work with vital insights into the social factors that increase healthy life years and promote well-being.
This book examines the social aspects of healthy ageing for older individuals. It features more than 15 papers that explore the relevance of the social environment for health on the micro, meso, and macro level. Overall, the book applies a comprehensive contextual approach that includes discussion of how family and friends, neighborhoods, nations, and welfare regimes influence health. The book first explores the issue on the individual level. It looks at the importance of social capital for health among older people, examines types of social networks and health among older Americans, as well as discusses dynamic social capital and mental health in late life. Next, the book looks at the issue through a neighborhood and societal context, which takes into account day-to-day interaction in the immediate environment as well as the social, health, and economic policies in place in different regions in the world, including America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. From there, the book goes on to offer implications and recommendations for research and practice, including the management of related concepts of research on well-being and health. It also offers a psychosocial approach to promoting social capital and mental health among older adults. This book provides health professionals as well as researchers and students in gerontology, sociology, social policy, psychology, and social work with vital insights into the social factors that increase healthy life years and promote well-being.
Increasingly, resilience is being incorporated into planning and social protection policy. People have been facing shocks, both natural and anthropogenic, forever, devising and innovating a variety of institutional responses to cope with, recover from, and prevent future impacts. Central to these shocks and this coping capacity, but often underexplored, is the role of social capital. This paper, using the case studies of iddirs (funeral societies) in Ethiopia and migrant networks in the Philippines, explores the contribution of local forms of social capital to building and strengthening the resilience of individuals and communities, focusing on their contributions to coping, adaptive, and transformative capacities. This paper argues that understanding clearly the role that existing social capital can play in building resilience is a necessary first step for policymakers. The authors suggest policy interventions to fill gaps where and when necessary while supporting and deepening existing social capital.
Social capital is a relatively new concept in the social sciences. In the last twenty or so years it has come to indicate that networks of social relationships represent a 'resource' for both the individual and society, since they provide support for the individual and facilitate collective action. Although this is not an entirely new idea, the more systematic way in which social capital captures such an intuition has created a new theoretical paradigm and helped to develop a series of innovative research programmes in politics, economics, and the study of human well-being. The concept has gained currency beyond academia, extending its influence to political and policy-making circles at local, national, and international levels. It has also affected the way in which social surveys are conceived and public policies assessed. As the idea of social capital has spread, the literature about it has increased exponentially. After twenty years of rapid expansion it is time for a more considered and critical assessment of how the original concept has been adapted and refined, and how successful its application has been. The Handbook of Social Capital intends to do precisely that. It offers a state-of-the-art view of discussions about the concept of social capital and the way in which it has been applied in empirical research. The organization of the Handbook reflects this intention by focusing on conceptual development and analysis in the first part; by identifying two main areas of research in which social capital has favoured the development of new and influential research programmes - political participation in democratic societies, and economic development; and by exploring the more normative and policy oriented consequences of social capital. All chapters comprising the volume were specifically written for the Handbook by some of the main experts in the fields. The book provides authoritative and innovative introduction to the study of social capital.
People have always faced shocks and have devised a variety of institutional responses to cope with, recover from, and prevent future impacts. Central to these shocks and this coping capacity, but often underexplored, is the role of social capital. Social capital includes “features of social organization, such as networks, norms, and social trust, that facilitate coordination and cooperation for mutual benefit” and can serve as an asset for communities, enabling them to engage in and benefit from collective action and cooperation. While social capital takes many forms, of particular interest here are local-level organizations and less formal social networks. Having long played a role in individual, household, and community risk-smoothing and risk-sharing practices, social capital has also been identified as a vital component of adaptive capacity as well as a key factor contributing to post-disaster recovery. Practitioners often assume that the poor, who lack other assets, can develop, acquire, and utilize social capital instead; however, as many studies have illustrated, the poor face significant challenges in building and using this resource. Moreover, social capital by itself may not be sufficient to encourage proactive adaptive behaviors and changes; external interventions may be needed to strengthen indigenous associations and support for resilience. However, clearly understanding local-level social capital is necessary for such interventions to effectively engage with, and not erode, effective local responses. This brief explores how local forms of social capital can contribute to resilience and how policy interventions can build up, support, and deepen these connections.
Social capital is a key concept in academic research and policymaking internationally. It focuses attention on social relationships, values, and access to resources in families, communities, regions and nations. But does the concept, with its focus on particular aspects of social life and the thrust of its influence on policy initiatives, hide more than it illuminates? Is it even harmful? Can social capital ideas be amended or adapted to bring other issues into view, or are there alternative concepts that are better able to address contemporary social, economic and political life? This edited collection brings together contributions, including from internationally renowned researchers, that assess social capital - as a theoretical concept, its shaping of policy development, and its practices in research and everyday life. Some reveal the conceptual lacks and policy drawbacks of social capital, and put forward alternatives. Others pursue mainstream models and their adaptation.

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