ERIC Number: ED454582
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999-Aug-20
Reference Count: N/A
Elements of Social Capital in the Context of Six High Schools.
Lee, Valerie E.; Croninger, Robert G.
The aim of this paper is to expand the conceptualization of social capital to guide investigations of the construct in educational settings. Based on fieldwork in six U.S. high schools, the authors present a framework for studying the effects of school-based forms of social capital on adolescents' academic development. The study identified six elements of social capital in this framework. Three address inherent qualities of social capital (its use, location, and intentionality), while three focus on organizational mechanisms that influence students' access to social capital (volition, impetus, and norms). Matching school contexts with these elements, the researchers found that social capital is easier to generate and sustain in schools of choice. Also, schools where social capital occurs naturally are not necessarily places where relationships between students and teachers are productive. Even in schools with well-intentioned teachers, positive relationships, and innovative programs, disadvantaged social conditions limit students' academic development. The authors use their framework to discuss positive and negative aspects of social capital in these settings. The paper concludes with a discussion of the theoretical utility of social capital for educational research and policy. (Contains 44 references.)(Author/TEJ)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A