Towards a theorised understanding of family life and social capital

Towards a theorised understanding of family life and social capital

Ian Winter

Working Paper No. 21 — April 2000

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Families are typically thought of as the wellspring of civil society and an important source of social capital. The aim of this Working Paper is to bring the relationship between families and social capital under some scrutiny. The paper defines the concept of social capital and reviews the literature on social capital within and beyond family networks. Drawing this information together reveals considerable gaps in our knowledge of what it is about family life that generates social capital and, in turn, strengthens civil society. To redress this, the paper draws upon 'risk society' theory to construct family life as a theoretical subject and to provide a framework for understanding why family-based networks and norms - and thus family-based social capital - are undergoing change.  

Publication details

Working Paper
No. 21
Published by the Australian Institute of Family Studies, April 2000.
24 pp.
0 642 39472 5
Suggested citation:

Winter, I. (2000). Towards a theorised understanding of family life and social capital (Working Paper No. 21). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

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