Robert Putnam - Social Capital Measurement and Consequences

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  • Libreremo

    Questo libro il frutto di un percorso di lotta per laccesso alle conoscenze e alla formazione promosso dal CSOA Terra Terra, CSOA Officina 99, Get Up Kids!, Neapolis Hacklab. Questo libro solo uno dei tanti messi a disposizione da LIBREREMO, un portale finalizzato alla condivisione e alla libera circolazione di materiali di studio universitario (e non solo!).

    Pensiamo che in ununiversit dai costi e dai ritmi sempre pi escludenti, sempre pi subordinata agli interessi delle aziende, LIBREREMO possa essere uno strumento nelle mani degli studenti per riappropriarsi, attraverso la collaborazione reciproca, del proprio diritto allo studio e per stimolare, attraverso la diffusione di materiale controinformativo, una critica della propriet intellettuale al fine di smascherarne i reali interessi.

    I diritti di propriet intellettuale (che siano brevetti o copyright) sono da sempre e soprattutto oggi - grosse fonti di profitto per multinazionali e grandi gruppi economici, che pur di tutelare i loro guadagni sono disposti a privatizzare le idee, a impedire laccesso alla ricerca e a qualsiasi contenuto, tagliando fuori dalla cultura e dallo sviluppo la stragrande maggioranza delle persone. Inoltre impedire laccesso ai saperi, renderlo possibile solo ad una ristretta minoranza, reprimere i contenuti culturali dal carattere emancipatorio e proporre solo contenuti inoffensivi o di intrattenimento sono da sempre i mezzi del capitale per garantirsi un controllo massiccio sulle classi sociali subalterne.

    Lignoranza, la mancanza di un pensiero critico rende succubi e sottomette alle logiche di profitto e di oppressione: per questo riappropriarsi della cultura che sia un disco, un libro, un film o altro un atto cosciente caratterizzato da un preciso significato e peso politico. Condividere e cercare canali alternativi per la circolazione dei saperi significa combattere tale situazione, apportando benefici per tutti.

    Abbiamo scelto di mettere in condivisione proprio i libri di testo perch i primi ad essere colpiti dallattuale repressione di qualsiasi tipo di copia privata messa in atto da SIAE, governi e multinazionali, sono la gran parte degli studenti che, considerati gli alti costi che hanno attualmente i libri, non possono affrontare spese eccessive, costretti gi a fare i conti con affitti elevati, mancanza di strutture, carenza di servizi e borse di studio etc...

    Questo va evidentemente a ledere il nostro diritto allo studio: le universit dovrebbero fornire libri di testo gratuiti o quanto meno strutture e biblioteche attrezzate, invece di creare di fatto uno sbarramento per chi non ha la possibilit di spendere migliaia di euro fra tasse e libri originali... Proprio per reagire a tale situazione, senza stare ad aspettare nulla dallalto, invitiamo tutt* a far circolare il pi possibile i libri, approfittando delle enormi possibilit che ci offrono al momento attuale internet e le nuove tecnologie, appropriandocene, liberandole e liberandoci dai limiti imposti dal controllo repressivo di tali mezzi da parte del capitale.

    Facciamo fronte comune davanti ad un problema che coinvolge tutt* noi! Riappropriamoci di ci che un nostro inviolabile diritto!

    csoaTerraaTerra

    Get Up Kids! Neapolis Hacklab csoa Terra Terra csoa Officina 99

    www.getupkids.org www.neapolishacklab.org www.csoaterraterra.org www.officina99.org

    www.libreremo.org

  • 41isuma

    A R T I C L E

    RSUM Plusieurs indicateurs portent croire que le capital social est en nette rgression

    aux tats-Unis depuis le milieu des annes soixante. Aprs avoir connu une hausse pendant

    prs des deux tiers du XIXe sicle, le nombre dadhrents des associations et la

    participation des organismes civiques, le niveau de confiance et celui des dons de charit

    ont enregistr un recul notable. Il existe aux tats-Unis une corrlation trs forte entre les

    niveaux de capital social et la performance scolaire, la sant, la fraude fiscale et le bien-tre

    que les gens estiment avoir. Il faudrait videmment analyser ce schma beaucoup plus en

    dtails, mais il est suffisamment prononc pour justifier de continuer sintresser au

    capital social et ses consquences potentiellement importantes pour plusieurs domaines

    de politiques gouvernementales.

    ABSTRACT A number of indicators suggest that there has been a sharp decline in social

    capital in the United States since the mid-1960s. After rising for most of the first two thirds of

    the 19TH century, formal membership and participation in civic organizations, levels of trust,

    and charitable giving have all seen sharp declines. There is a strong relationship, across

    American states, between measures of social capital and educational performance, health,

    tax evasion and self-assessed welfare. Although this pattern still needs far more detailed

    analysis, it is pronounced enough to justify further attention to social capital and its

    potentially powerful implications for a range of public policy issues.

    The central idea of social capital, in my view, is that networks and theassociated norms of reciprocity have value. They have value for the peo-ple who are in them, and they have, at least in some instances, demon-strable externalities, so that there are both public and private faces of socialcapital. I focus largely on the external, or public, returns to social capital, butI think that is not at all inconsistent with the idea that there are also private re-turns. The same is no doubt true of human capital, i.e., there are simultane-ously public and private returns.

    Like physical capital, social capital is far from homogenous. Some forms of so-cial capital are good for some things and not for others. Accepting that there isno single form of social capital, we need to think about its multiple dimensions.

    Measurement and Consequences

    B Y R O B E R T P U T N A M

    SocialCapital

    ILLU

    STR

    ATI

    ON

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    DA

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  • 42 Spring Printemps 2001

    social capital: measurement and consequences

    American Medical Association (ama),or electronic engineers belonging tothe Institute of Electrical andElectronics Engineers (ieee).

    Graphs for the various organiza-tions tell a similar story. Membershipmarket shares rise for the first twothirds of the century, with the excep-tion of the Great Depression whenmany organizations lost half theirmembership between 1930 and 1935.Thereafter, there was a long period ofvery rapid growth, doubling marketshare, on average.

    The period between 1940 and1965 was arguably the most rapid pe-riod of civic revival in American his-tory. Figure 1 does not prove that,but I believe it was the case.

    And then suddenly, silently, inex-plicably, all of those organizationsbegan to experience levelling marketshares and then decline in marketshares, and gradually the decline inmarket shares became so great thatthey began to experience a decline inthe absolute number of members. By1997, the average organization wasback to Depression levels in terms ofmembership market shares. Not allorganizations membership fell at thesame time. The ama actually was thefirst to peak in terms of its marketshare. Appropriately, the last of the

    One of the most important researchpriorities in this area is the develop-ment of theoretically coherent andempirically valid typologies or dimen-sions along which social capital shouldvary. Although, I give some examplesof how social capital varies, I do notthink we are anywhere near a kind ofcanonical account of the dimensionsof social capital.

    Some forms of social capital, suchas a pta (Parent-Teacher Association)organization, a national organizationof any sort, or a labour union, for-mally organized with a chairperson, apresident and membership dues, arehighly formal. Other forms of socialcapital, such as a group of peoplegathering at a bar every Thursdayevening, are highly informal. And yet,both forms constitute networks inwhich there can easily develop reci-procity, and in which there can begains. Some forms of social capitalare densely interlaced, like a group ofsteelworkers who work together everyday at the factory, go bowling to-gether on Saturday, and to the samechurch every Sunday. At another ex-treme, you have very thin, almost in-visible forms of social capital, like thenodding acquaintance you have withthe person you occasionally see at thesupermarket, while waiting in line.

    We must not be too dismissive ofsuch casual forms of social connec-tion. There has been good experi-mental evidence that if you nod topeople in the hall, they are more likelyto come to your aid if you shouldhave a seizure or a heart attack, thanif you dont nod to them, even if youdont otherwise know them. Merelynodding to someone in the hall gen-erates visible, measurable forms ofreciprocity.

    I now address issues of measure-ment, especially of long-run trends,over the course of the 20th century,in social capital in the United States.For many Americans that is an inter-esting question. In 1995, I wrote anarticle1 in which I conjectured that thelong-run trends, at least the recenttrends, in social capital in the UnitedStates were down. In that article Iprovided preliminary evidence thatshowed, at least by some measures,

    that membership in organizationswas down. My recent book2 looks inmuch more detail at the question oftrends in social capital in the UnitedStates.

    For my 1995 article, we con-structed market share measures formany major civic organizations inAmerican life, e.g., the percentage ofall Jewish women in America belong-ing to Hadassah; the percentage ofCa