ERIC Number: ED430293
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999-Apr
Large or Small? Public or Private? What Matters Most in the Formation of Social Capital.
Fritch, Wayne S.
This paper explores how social capital is generated in schools. Social capital is defined as the resources available to actors that result from their interaction in a social network. The school sites selected for the study were relatively close in proximity to help control for social capital that is produced within communitywide structures, independent of the schools. Three schools (one Catholic; one non-Catholic, religious school; and one public school) were selected for the study. Multiple sources of data were utilized, including school documents, interviews with key informants, faculty interviews, focus groups, parent surveys, aggregate student-achievement scores, and observer notes. Results indicate that many of the types of activities that brought parents together at the three schools were similar in nature. However, the social capital that formed as a result of the social networks associated with the large and small schools was different. The two smaller schools, by utilizing other additional activities that allowed them to take advantage of the community and social networks already established by their affiliated church, exhibited a denser social network than was found in the large school. In the large school, social capital was found in clusters of social networks with little overlap. (RJM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Montreal, Quebec, Canada, April 19-23, 1999).