• English
  • Italiano
Kawachi, I., Subramanian, S.V.; Kim, Daniel (Eds.) (2008). Social Capital and Health. Springer

As interest in social capital has grown over the past decade—particularly in public health —so has the lack of consensus on exactly what it is and what makes it worth studying. Social Capital and Health presents the state of the debate, from definition to conceptualization, from effective measurement to real-world applications. The 21 contributors (headed by Ichiro Kawachi, a widely respected leader in the field, and including physicians, economists, and public health experts) discuss the potentials and pitfalls in current research, and salient examples of social capital concepts informing public health practice.

The book’s first section traces the theoretical origins of social capital, and the strengths and limitations of current methodologies of measuring it. The second half surveys the empirical data on social capital in key health areas. Among the highlights:

  • Toward a definition: Individual or group entity? Negative as well as positive effects?
  • Measurement methods: survey, sociometric, ethnographic, experimental
  • The relationship between social capital and physical health and health behaviors: smoking, substance abuse, physical activity, sexual activity
  • Social capital and mental health: early findings
  • Social capital and the aging community
  • Applying social capital to health communications
  • Social capital and disaster preparedness

Social Capital and Health is certain to inspire researchers and advanced students in public health, health behavior, and social epidemiology. The collective insight found in these diverse perspectives should inspire a new generation of research on this topic, and lead to the development of interventions to improve public health.

Table of contents

Chapter 1. Social capital and health: A decade of progress and beyond
Ichiro Kawachi, S.V. Subramanian and Daniel Kim 


Chapter 2. Measurement of individual social capital: questions, instruments, and measures
Martin van der Gaag and Martin Webber

Chapter 3. The measurement of community social capital through surveys
Trudy Harpham

Chapter 4. Network-based approaches for measuring social capital
Cynthia M. Lakon, Dionne C. Godette and John R. Hipp

Chapter 5. Actual or potential neighborhood resources for health: What can Bourdieu offer for understanding mechanisms linking social capital to health?
Richard M. Carpiano

Chapter 6. Social capital and public health: Qualitative and ethnographic approaches
Rob Whitley

Chapter 7. The economic approach to cooperation and trust: Lessons for the study of social capital and health
Lisa R. Anderson and Jennifer M. Mellor


Chapter 8. Social capital and physical health: A systematic review of the literature
Daniel Kim, S.V. Subramanian and Ichiro Kawachi

Chapter 9. Social capital and mental health: An updated interdisciplinary review of primary evidence
Astier M. Almedom and Douglas Glandon

Chapter 10. Social capital and health-related behaviors
Martin Lindström

Chapter 11. Social capital and aging-related outcomes
Kathleen Cagney and Ming Wen

Chapter 12. Social capital and health communications
K. (Vish) Viswanath

Chapter 13. Disaster preparedness and social capital
Howard K. Koh and Rebecca O. Cadigan



Kawachi, Ichiro

Professor of Social Epidemiology Chair, Department of Society, Human Development, and Health Department of Society, Human Development, and Health 677 Huntington Avenue Kresge Building 7th Floor Boston, Massachusetts 02115 Phone: 617.432.3915 [email protected]...

Kim, Daniel

Subramanian S V

Associate Professor of Society, Human Development, and Health Department of Society, Human Development, and Health 677 Huntington Avenue Kresge Building 7th Floor, 716 Boston, Massachusetts 02115-6096 Phone: 617.432.6299 [email protected] Other...

Upcoming events

No events in the list.