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SPP 431

Author: Florian Pichler and Claire Wallace
Description: Social capital has become a much researched concept. However, a neglected dimension of social capital is the role of social stratification and social inequality, something which formed part of the original concept developed by Pierre Bourdieu. In this paper we explore the relationship between social stratification and social capital across 27 European countries using the Eurobarometer 62.2 (N=27,000) carried out in autumn 2004. Through the use of statistical modelling we are able to determine the extent to which individual characteristics, such as position in the labour market, is associated with different measures of social capital and to set this within a cross national context. We find that social stratification is an important element in understanding social capital both at a country and at an individual level. Whereas upper layers of society experience higher levels of social capital, country differences can be ascribed to broader social inequality.

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CSPP School of Government & Public Policy U. of Strathclyde Glasgow G1 1XQ Scotland