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Citation Information

Type Thesis or Dissertation - Master's thesis
Title Exploring social capital and its links with democracy in Cape Town: Findings from the Cape Area Study 2003
Author(s)
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2005
Abstract
This dissertation explores dimensions of social capital and its links with democracy in Cape Town, using data from the Cape Area Study 2003. The main theoretical and empirical approaches to the study of social capital in relation to democracy are critically analysed. The paper offers a descriptive overview of social capital, analysing facets beyond the widely used measures of general interpersonal trust and formal associational activism. While general interpersonal trust and associational activism in Cape Town are low, higher rates of social capital exist in other forms, such as neighbourly trust and informal networks of association with neighbours and kin. Factor and Reliability Analyses are applied to test dimensionality in the data ?nding that, in Cape Town, social capital is a multi-dimensional concept made up of distinct attitudinal and structural components. These facets are used to analyse the link between social capital and certain hypothesized outcomes linked to democratic stability, namely tolerance of diversity, civic commitment and political participation. The dissertation ?nds that interpersonal trust is a weak predictor of these outcomes and that associational activism can only sometimes be linked hereto. Other facets of social capital play a signi?cant role in determining these outcomes, but no single variable is a consistently strong predictor hereof. The ?ndings suggest that the dimensions of social capital vary in their functioning and link to the outcomes of tolerance of diversity, civic commitment and political participation.

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