Social Capital in Europe. A Three-Step Analysis. Its Structure, Levels, Individual and Contextual Determinants

Conceição Pequito Teixeira

Abstract


Despite its historical roots and wide contemporary use, the debate over the conceptualization of social capital is very much alive among researchers of different academic subjects, with its main goal being the development of empirical measurement tools. The chief aim of this article is to demonstrate the multidimensional and consistent structure of social capital in European regions through an exploratory factor analysis and a subsequent confirmatory factor analysis.Throughout the paper we critically analyze the gap between the theoretical understandings of social capital and the ways it has been measured in most empirical work so far. We use data from the five European Social Survey waves (2002-2010) in European regions. We also approach social capital levels in these regions: diachronically between 2002 and 2010 using a time-series analysis and synchronically in 2010 using an analysis of variance to determine mean differences (ANOVA). Lastly, we study the effect several determinants have, at individual and national levels over the different dimensions of social capital so as to determine whether there are verifiable differences between European regions. In order to do this we used OLS regression analyses.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2013.v4n9p356


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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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