Social capitals, social class, and prosperity in high-trust and low-trust societies

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Füzér, Katalin
Bodor, Ákos
Bálint, Lajos
Huszár, Ákos
Pirmajer, Attila
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Inequalities in social capital are accepted today as important aspects of social and economic prosperity. This analysis utilizes global comparative data from the International Social Survey Program and finds substantial variation in the three types of social capital across social classes, in a cross-country perspective as well as among two types of societies, 10 high-trust and 13 low-trust societies. Social capitals show significant correlation with economic and social prosperity outcomes as well. The authors find that in more prosperous countries there is an abundance of bridging and linking social capital, whereas people in economically and socially less prosperous societies rely more on bonding social capital. The authors also present evidence on the class-related inequalities of social capitals: More advantageous class positions are associated with higher levels of bridging and linking social capital, whereas the lower classes hold higher levels of bonding social capital. Based on a multilevel analysis that brings together all of these aspects as well as a number of individual-level predictors, they conclude that their initial findings are reinforced with only minor exceptions.
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International Journal of Sociology 50:(1) p. Article in press. 21 p. (2019)