Talk:Social capital/Draft

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 Definition Productive assets arising out of social relations, such as trust, cooperation, solidarity, social networks of relations and those beliefs, ideologies and institutions that contribute to production of goods. [d] [e]
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 Workgroup categories Sociology, Politics and Economics [Editors asked to check categories]
 Subgroup categories:  Social Policy and Politicomilitary doctrine
 Talk Archive 1  English language variant American English

Ready Now?

Once again, interest in adding to and editing this item has flagged and it has been nearly two months since there has been any activity. Is it ready to approve now? There is an outstanding call for illustrations, but no one seems to have come up with anything. Personally, I haven't a clue how to visualize social capital. Any ideas? It looks like there are many possible related articles, only some of which have made it to the Related Articles pages. This seems to indicate approving only the main page at this point.

Roger Lohmann 02:00, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
I have nothing further to add to this article (having just added some wikilinks), and my only misgiving about giving it approval concerns the first paragraph, which seems to me to give an impression of learnedness that is more appropriate to a contribution to an academic journal than to an encyclopedia article.
A minor problem is that it is drafted in a mixture of American English and British English. If you could make a ruling about which version to adopt, one of us could put that right.
Nick Gardner 11:16, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
Since the original metadata page I created indicated AE, I think we should stick with AE. Will you make the conversions? Roger Lohmann 13:18, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
The illustration does not have to be complicated, it should just provide some context. An example of the kind that I think might be useful is here. One could use overlapping circles or other visualizations for the individual items, and we could turn it into a series of illustrations to be included in all of the concerned articles in a way that highlights the one on whose page it is, but links (like the CZ:Biology Week banner) to the other Capital (economics) articles. --Daniel Mietchen 11:37, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
I don't see anything wrong with Daniel's example, and if it is considered to be helpful to the reader, I have no objection to its insertion (perhaps on a Tutorials subpage?) Nick Gardner 11:59, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
The thing that's wrong with the suggested graph is that it is completely inconclusive (like many such illustrations). It says only that all forms of capital are related. (Well, duh. Isn't that why they all have the word capital in the term?) Are those meant to be causal links? Or just signs of connection? I still agree that in theory an illustration might add something, but I don't think this one does. Roger Lohmann 13:28, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
The only thing wrong with the description is it has no content. What "individual items" would be pictured by those overlapping circles? Venn diagrams are a mathematical formalism. But how does it apply here? What "series of illustrations" should be included? That's where the suggestion breaks down, I suspect, and why no one has followed up with any examples: I know of visualizations of trading, markets, third sectors, etc. but I don't "see" social capital illustrated; nor apparently does anyone else. If you want illustrations, Daniel, you're going to have to supply them. It's a good idea, but it appears we lack the inspiration. Roger Lohmann 13:18, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
I simply don't buy that a concept cannot be illustrated. I have difficulties supplying illustrations because it's not my specialty, but I had another look around and found things like this organizational chart (which would have to be simplified) or the depiction of social capital in research on slides 103-107 of this presentation to be a useful starting point. --Daniel Mietchen 13:44, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
Well, let's hope someone will read this and agree with you that your examples show something worth presenting and come up with some usable illustrations. In which case, I certainly have no objections. This is (broadly) my area, and my point was (and is): 1) I agree that all concepts can, in principle, be illustrated. 2) This one hasn't been (that amazingly complex CI map, notwithstanding); 3) I personally can't visualize the social capital concept and don't have the graphics skill to do so; 4) No one else has risen to your call, and we don't have an illustrations department on call; 5) That all just means, it's a good idea, but who is going to do it? BTW, I didn't see the point of slides 103-7 at all; I just see pretty pictures done by somebody's marketing department.
The real question now is, is this an important enough point that we should wait with approving this article until someone comes up with something? Roger Lohmann 14:35, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
I won't stand in the way of this approval (and I can't anyway), but I think the handling of illustrations merits some further thoughts, for which I have started this forum thread. Hope to see you there. --Daniel Mietchen 15:58, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

(Undent) Look at the illustrations in insurgency. If you strip out the specific counterinsurgency force, especially in Kilcullen's three pillars, I think you get close. I'm willing to redraw that to something more specific. It's probably more political social capital, and I'm not as insistent about graphics as others. --Howard C. Berkowitz 17:42, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

You see some sort of a connection between the Kilcullen chart and social capital that I'm afraid I don't understand. Has anyone other than you drawn this link between counter-insurgency and social capital? Or, are we getting into original research here? Roger Lohmann 21:33, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
Here's the problem. In such concepts as nation-building and counterinsurgency, there's a very strong match to the concepts in social capital. The term, however, does not seem to be used in the counterinsurgency literature. Perhaps some of the problem is that social capital tends to be described in Western terms, where the counterinsurgents (e.g., Iraq War, insurgency) tend to be talking in terms of building, and then transcending, tribal structures. I'd call it synthesis to say that social capital broke down with the Islamic sectarian conflict in Iraq, and in the Balkans, where Serbs, Croatians, Muslims, and others had lived peacefully side-by-side. --Howard C. Berkowitz 22:32, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
Insurgency, and indeed urban decay, are, to me, examples of the lack of social capital. Is, for example, the James Q. Wilson broken windows theory of urban policing an attempt to invest capital in repairs? One of the marks of pacification, at the neighborhood level, in Iraq was when people of different tribes and ethnicities would pick up trash.
So, the argument can be made that social capital puts multiple groups into each of Kilcullen's pillars. In the former Yugoslavia, there was quite a bit of discussion of how there was local government until the Serbs/Bosnians/Croats/etc. wanted others out of their turf. Howard C. Berkowitz 22:03, 26 May 2010 (UTC)

Changes after approval nomination

Since I see you added some text, Roger, let me bring up something that I've been wondering: is there anything published about things leading to the encouragement, or even imposition, of social capital? The first thing that comes to mind is James Q. Wilson's "broken windows" policing, but I'm also thinking of counterinsurgency work where tribal or ethnic groups were subsidized or encouraged to work on community building/maintenance.

There's even the situation where the previously at-odds residents start bonding in the face of a common enemy. Al-Qaeda doctrine, for example, is to marry into local clans, but this created friction in Somalia and Iraq. Howard C. Berkowitz 12:28, 30 May 2010 (UTC)

I'm not aware of anyone publishing anything connecting this to either Wilson's broken windows theory or counterinsurgency, but the connection strikes me as a sound one. This probably relates to William J. Wilson's work on inner cities also. The problem is we may be wandering off the CZ reservation, and bordering on original research in exploring those connections. You've raised this point before, and its a good one, but I'm not convinced those points should be in the basic social capital article. Would a paragraph/section in some entry related to counterinsurgency and linking back to this one work?
Roger Lohmann 19:11, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps it could make the "original synthesis" category if the ideas were simply placed side-by-side...maybe even as an extended annotation in the Bibliography?
Certainly, there could be links or Related Articles. They should, however, have an introduction...even if as simple as "While other disciplines have addressed ideas that share some principles with social capital, social scientists are not known to have published specific unifying research." I don't like the word "research" there -- "synthesis" is more apt.
Another thing along these lines would be some of Edward T. Hall's work on the American Southwest, where, after Latinos gained political power, there was a near revolt (i.e., loss of social capital) until it was realized that each group had a coherent but different view of the roles of police and courts. Howard C. Berkowitz 19:18, 30 May 2010 (UTC)

Research update

Driving back from an errand, I was about to suggest that we create an "original research needed/possible" section, which remains a good idea. It seemed a decent idea, however, to look for some publications.

--Howard C. Berkowitz 22:50, 30 May 2010 (UTC)

Does anyone have full-text access to the first article about the Dinka and the third book?
Do we need a stub, at least, on Wilson's theories? I'm no expert. I may try on Hall, simply because I find him one of the most delightful writers in social science. Howard C. Berkowitz 16:31, 31 May 2010 (UTC)

Next political step

A first draft is now in the article, and I'm quite open to flow edits on it. Hopefully, this is a reasonable level of detail -- to go into more depth, there is the insurgency article, which could do with more links to social capital. Perhaps some of you might consider working on that and helping get it to Approval. Howard C. Berkowitz 22:41, 31 May 2010 (UTC)

Something to consider: how Western-oriented is the article in general? The idea of patron-client relationships establishing social capital runs through the military references. I have a sense that much of the rest of the article, however, focuses on the idea of voluntary peer association as the core of social capital; am I reading something that is not there? Howard C. Berkowitz 00:54, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

Toward Approval

Hi all, looking this over, it looks like we need one more editor on board here before we can lock this article on June 2. D. Matt Innis 00:51, 31 May 2010 (UTC)

Nick Gardner has signed on.
Roger Lohmann 15:54, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
Alright then, we're looking good for June 2, barring any unforeseen circumstances. D. Matt Innis 16:20, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
Just wanted to make sure everyone is aware that these edits are not included in the approved version that everyone is signed on to. If we want these edits included, Roger needs to update the version number in the metadata tempalte and all three editors will need to let it be known that they agree here on this talk page so that when I return on June 2, 2010, it will be apparent that you all agree on the same version. If that doesn't make sense, make sure to contact me on my talk page before June 2. Otherwise, this is the version that will be approved. Thanks in advance! D. Matt Innis 16:29, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
Right, Matt. There have been a number of minor changes, and the addition of an illustration is in process. I have no problems with the changes made, and if anyone does, please let me know today if possible. I will update the version number as soon as we get the illustration settled in. (I'll probably wait until tomorrow. That will give anyone who isn't satisfied one more day to raise issues, but we should be pretty well set by then.
Roger Lohmann 16:38, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
Okay, Roger, sounds good. It looks like ya'll (southern for you all) have it under control. I'll let you have at it (southern for 'handle it') till June 2. :) D. Matt Innis 16:50, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
You must be feeling very regional today! ;-) Me too. I think we'uns (Western Pennsylvanian for all of us) have it about done up (West Virginian for finished.) Are we done? You betcha! (Minnesotan for certainly). As soon as Howard is a'done a'fixin (again, West Virginian) one last bit. That illustration Milton done up for us'uns is a real knee slapper! (That was fun!) ;-) Roger Lohmann 17:06, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
Hehe (text shorthand for Haha), Roger, that was a barrel of laughs (LOL)! D. Matt Innis 17:10, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
Anyone read "Digging the Weans"?
Matt still should write an article distinguishing "y'all" from "all y'all". As a newcomer to New England, I still am working on "yup" vs. "ayup". The fishermen with whom I work also remind me that while one may prosecute a submarine contact, it's not what you do to a scallop. Howard C. Berkowitz 17:26, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
Howard, I'm wondering if you have had a chance yet in New England to paark ya caar in the Haavard Yaard? Roger Lohmann 18:01, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
No, I take the T to Haaavard. There is a story, though, of the "12 or fewer items" line in a Cambridge supermarket. An obvious student, with heaped cart, went through, and the cashier commented when he paid, "tell me, is it that you are from Harvard and can't count, or MIT and can't read?" Howard C. Berkowitz 18:25, 31 May 2010 (UTC)


Okay, with that last round of revisions bringing in some rather unexpected and very interesting literature on social capital thinking in regard to insurgencies and counter-insurgencies, this article is now finished. That Evans-Prichard quotation is priceless and traces another (social anthropology) tap root in the social capital family tree!

Please refrain from any more changes until this article is formally approved tomorrow. Any subsequent changes can then be made on the Draft page and will be incorporated in a later revision. All three editors appear to be in agreement that this is ready. I will update the permanlink (and notify the Constabulary that it is updated) sometime later this evening or tomorrow morning.

Thanks to all concerned. This article has grown into something CZ can be truly pleased with. Roger Lohmann 18:15, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

First Law of Plumbing: if it don't leak, don't fix it.
I'm absolutely delighted with the level of interdisciplinary work shown here, which I suspect will enrich other articles. Indeed, I'm going to introduce the Evans-Pritchard quote into insurgency -- U.S. Army Field Manual 3-24 quotes it exactly, but without attribution. Howard C. Berkowitz 18:25, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

Toward Approval 2

Okay, I see that Howard and Roger are satisfied with the new version (it needs updating in the template) that includes Howard's work. All I need now is Nick's consent and we'll lock this version. Of course, if not, please keep working to get it right! D. Matt Innis 13:24, 2 June 2010 (UTC)

I've updated the permalink to the latest approved version, so it is ready to go. Roger Lohmann 16:40, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
I am very happy to add my approval of the new version (I see it is already entered on the metadata template). Congratulations, Howard! Nick Gardner 06:15, 3 June 2010 (UTC)

Approved Version 1.0

Congratulations!! again!! D. Matt Innis 23:45, 3 June 2010 (UTC)

Wow, excellent article, all. Stephen Ewen 07:13, 11 June 2011 (UTC)