What is Social Capital

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"What is Social Capital"
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Social capital refers to the relationship between people or a group that produces mutually beneficial results. People form relationships in any group or society. These relationships create a benefit to all the parties in the group creating social capital. It’s not the relationships themselves but more the networks that are created that help facilitate social capital.

A society must work as a cohesive unit in order for it to operate effectively. Those that understand how to use social capital to their advantage will utilize all the tools at their disposal. Networking in order to integrate oneself into a group to the point where they are able to organize people is utilizing social capital effectively. Every person influences those around them to some degree during the course of normal human interactions. Understanding how people work and the environment of the group helps maximize social capital. Leaders use social capital to influence change and guide the group. Understanding the value of networks and human bonding is an important part of leadership. Relationships are important and the interaction and networks that people create gives rise to society and social capital is the bond created by people interacting with people.

Social capital is more than simply a mutual benefit it is a bond that draws the group together. People bond better with those of similar idea and beliefs. Social capital shows that internal networks of groups are important and critical for the benefit of the group as a whole. Communication, beliefs, ideas, values, and purpose often serve as the foundations for organizations and societies. These bonds then promote a sense of cooperation that allows for members of the group to thrive. People in any society must have cooperation and a basic sense of community to grow. Whether it is a business, church, community, or nation there are norms created and a sense of right and wrong that offers support and protection for everyone.

People are social creatures by nature. A sense of belonging and community are important for understanding oneself and their role in the world. Belonging to a community develops senses and teaches the skills needed to survive in the world. People of the same community tend to rely on each other when help is needed. Social capital creates an environment of security and comfort for members of the group.  Social capital is utilized on a daily basis. Every time someone turns to another for help or advice they are relying on the social capital of their group. The networks and experiences of others are being used to support the needs of another. All relationships expand the network thus increasing the social capital one has at their disposal.

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