Minority Health Archive

Is Social Capital the Key to Inequalities in Health?

Pearce, Neil and Smith, George Davey (2003) Is Social Capital the Key to Inequalities in Health? American Journal of Public Health, 93 (1). pp. 122-129. ISSN 0090-0036

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There has been vigorous debate between the “social capital” and “neomaterialist” interpretations of the epidemiological evidence regarding socioeconomic determinants of health. We argue that levels of income inequality, social capital, and health in a community may all be consequences of more macrolevel social and economic processes that influence health across the life course. We discuss the many reasons for the prominence of social capital theory, and the potential drawbacks to making social capital a major focus of social policy. Intervening in communities to increase their levels of social capital may be ineffective, create resentment, and overload community resources, and to take such an approach may be to “blame the victim” at the community level while ignoring the health effects of macrolevel social and economic policies.

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Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This article is available at the publisher’s Web site. Access to the full text is subject to the publisher’s access restrictions.
Uncontrolled Keywords: social capital theory; neomaterialist interpretation; epidemiological evidence; socioeconomic determinants of health; income inequality; health in a community; social policy; blame the victim
Subjects: Health > Health Equity
Health > Policy
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Depositing User: Users 141 not found.
Date Deposited: 12 Mar 2008
Last Modified: 30 Jun 2011 12:22
Link to this item (URI): http://health-equity.lib.umd.edu/id/eprint/950

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