This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

A Comparison Of Theories Of Social Capital By Pierre Bourdieu And James Coleman

3540 words - 14 pages

A Comparison of Theories of Social Capital by Pierre Bourdieu and James Coleman

Social capital is a sociological theory which has gained increasing
attention in recent years. Whilst Bourdieu can be credited with
introducing the term to sociology, it was James Coleman who allowed
the concept to gain widespread recognition, highlighting its
importance as an individual notion. For Bourdieu social capital forms
a part of an overarching theory of ‘fields’, ‘capital’ and their
relation to class reproduction. The key importance of social capital
for Bourdieu is its relationship with economic capital, whilst for
Coleman, social capital is seen to lead to human capital. It seems
that both Bourdieu and Coleman agree that social capital represents
social ties or membership of particular communities that make
resources, advantages and opportunities available to individuals.
Whilst both identify social capital with social structure, they do so
differently, in ways that reflect the theoretical underpinnings of
their respective approaches and the aspects of social reality they
seek to understand. Both Coleman and Bourdieu emphasize the intangible
character of social capital relative to other forms. As Portes (1998)
notes, economic capital can be found in peoples’ bank accounts, whilst
human capital resides in peoples’ heads. Social capital, however,
inheres in the structure of their relationships. Thus to possess
social capital, a person must be related to others and it is those
others, not himself, who are the actual source of advantage. In order
to address this question I will firstly compare and contrast the
definitions of social capital offered by each thinker. I will then
provide an overview of both theorists’ elaborations of such
definitions. Secondly, the fundamental contrasts between explanations
of the social processes which allow social capital to exist will be
discussed, whilst I will argue that this is perhaps the most important
difference between Bourdieu and Coleman’s theories. Thirdly, I will
address the ramifications of such differenced in terms of later
attempts to use these two theoretical approaches in empirical testing
and practice, arguing that whilst Coleman’s approach may seem more
attractive, being inherently more testable and applicable, it is in
fact fraught with ambiguities and inconsistencies, many of which
Bourdieu’s perhaps more challenging theory manages to avoid.

It would firstly seem important to compare the two definitions of
social capital offered by Bourdieu and Coleman. Bourdieu defines the
concept as, ‘the aggregate of the actual or potential resources which
are linked to possession of a durable network of more or less
institutionalised relationships of mutual acquaintance or
recognition.’(1985 p.248). Coleman, however defined social capital by
...

Find Another Essay On A Comparison of Theories of Social Capital by Pierre Bourdieu and James Coleman

Richard Speck and Comparison of Theories

2481 words - 10 pages theory works on the principle that social and economic forces are at their worst in lower income communities and the key determinants in criminal behavior patterns. Social structure theory challenges the theories of rational choice and trait, by reminding us “that people living in equivalent social environments tend to behave in a similar, predictable fashion.” “That if the environment did not influence human behavior, then crime rates would

Teleological ethical theories vs. Deontological ethical theories By: Jesse Coleman

1550 words - 6 pages Teleological ethical theories vs. Deontological ethical theories By: Jesse Coleman There are two theories that have generally been used to analyze ethical questions. They are teleological ethics and deontological ethics.There are similarities and differences between the two that I will explain in more detail, but first I will define a few terms that need explaining. The telo in teleological is translated as ends or goals. So in essence

Comparison of Moral Theories

908 words - 4 pages -interest regardless of others. I assume that you can see the glaring flaws in each of these theories. In comparison, each of these theories calls for a narrow-minded focus on one person, which does not leave room to practice humanity for all. By thinking only the self, there is not room for personal or cultural growth and necessary tolerance to advance societal cooperation. Ethical egoism is an inconsistent theory as it lacks the ability to be

Henry James `Theories of Fiction

606 words - 2 pages The Art of Fiction and James `s Theories of fictionHenry James `essay The Art of Fiction is a first -hand account of how one of American `s ( and England `s) most prolific writers felt about fiction and writing in general.James can be considered one of the utmost authorities on writing as he made writing a life - long habit: for over 50 years he wrote daily.One of the most themes that permeate The Art of Fiction is the freedom that the author

Pierre Bourdieu and Plato: Both proclaim the truth is the right approach to life

2233 words - 9 pages The truth is a basis by which we should base our lives. Both Bourdieu and Plato, two great philosophers, are simply restating a fact that should be already known by all. You can always get caught in a lie; however, you can never be tripped up by the truth. By living lives filled with truth, we can affect many other areas, such as democracy and morality, in a positive manner.From a moral standpoint, living a life of truth is on in which there are

A Comparison of Greek and Roman Social Structures

549 words - 2 pages A Comparison of Greek and Roman Social Structures The Greek and Roman social structures highlight the differences in their development and transformation. This includes gender roles and relationships, family and kinship, social and economic classes and racial and moral construction. Gender roles and relationships of Greek were not equal. Women were seen as weaker begins and men had most of the control over the women. Women born of two

A Comparison of the Economic Theories of Adam Smith and Karl Marx

2467 words - 10 pages weight of a golden chain” (Chapter 25) that imprisons the wage-laborer in the system of exploitative capitalist production. Furthermore, this increase in wages will be short-lived. As more and more capital is accumulated by capitalists through exploitation and then re-invested, the ratio of constant capital, capital manifested in the means of production, to variable capital, capital paid to workers in wages, increases, making variable capital a

Comparison of Theories of Attachment

2275 words - 9 pages Harlow’s previous study involving rhesus monkey could be reversed or at least moderated, they felt this could be achieved by giving them time with ‘monkey therapists’. An example of undoing the effects of extreme privation in humans are ‘Czech Twins’ study by Koluchova (1972,1991). He studied identical twin boys that lost their mother shortly after their birth; they were cared for in a social agency, and were fostered by a maternal aunt for six months

Biography of Marie and Pierre Curie

2316 words - 10 pages concentration, but easily distracted. Most of Pierre’s free time was spent outside in the woods. Often times he even brought home specimens of minerals, flora and fauna (Bailey). At the age of fourteen, Pierre was given a private tutor. This tutor discovered Pierre’s great interest in mathematics and physics. At age sixteen, Pierre earned his bachelor’s degree. He received his licentiate in physics by age eighteen. Unfortunately, by age

Theories of Social Ecology

1857 words - 7 pages All three theories by Heidegger, Bookchin, and Naess are based on the normative assumption: humans perceived themselves as being distinct from a world that unites both humans and non-humans. To better understand the distinguishments that each author makes in his theory, I will reconstruct each of their assumption. After that, we will explore the rational fashioning of integrative ways and the problems that it raises. In conclusion, there may be

Working Capital Efficiency: A Comparison of Pakistani Cement and Textile Industry

2129 words - 9 pages gain due attention. Current assets and liabilities are important components of total assets and they should also be managed efficiently. Management of working capital needs more attention because it can play key role for the profitability of firms (smith, 1980). Working capital means funds necessary for the working of a business. It is calculated by deducting current liabilities from current assets. Current assets are those assets which can be

Similar Essays

Pierre Bourdieu And Cultural Capital And Cultural Relativism

1677 words - 7 pages dictates one’s position within the social order. Repeated exposure to socializing agents within a family normalizes certain dynamics and renders others invisible in the process, a cycle of cultural relativism that resounds with elders who have received the same lessons since childhood. Pierre Bourdieu, French anthropologist and philosopher, pioneered investigative frameworks and terminologies such as cultural capital, symbolic violence, and the concept

The Role Of Education In Society As Discussed By Emile Durkheim, Pierre Bourdieu, And John W. Meyer

571 words - 2 pages Theorists have long discussed the value of education in society as evidenced by the writings of Emile Durkheim, Pierre Bourdieu, and more recently John W. Meyer. Emile Durkheim believed in the theory of structural functionalism and its ability to provide social order. Durkheim felt institutions were a social fact that made the machine of society work in an orderly fashion. Education, being an institution has a standard set of rules accepted

A Comparison Of Practical And Principled Nonviolent Action Theories

3804 words - 15 pages A Comparison of Practical and Principled Nonviolent Action Theories Introduction The phrase "nonviolent action" brings to mind a wide variety of sometimes conflicting images. The image of a Chinese student at Tiananmen Square standing in the way of a tank was portrayed around the world, along with the stories of those who were shot and run over by those tanks. Indian participants pressed forward undauntedly in columns and then in groups

A Metaphysical Comparison Between "The Secret Life Of Bees" By Sue Monk Kidd And "A Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Man" By James Joyce

1543 words - 6 pages The Development of the ArtistArtists come in many forms, shapes, and sizes, but all artists start out as children. It is often through experiences acquired while growing up that one has topics and inspiration for creating later in life. Lily Owens, the protagonist of The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd, and Stephen Dedalus, the protagonist of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce, are similar characters destined to