Social Capital Over Time and Across Generations: A Data-Driven Learning Guide (ICPSR 339)

Principal Investigator(s): Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research


Data-Driven Learning Guides are a collection of instructional exercises that can be used to enhance teaching of core concepts in the social sciences. This learning guide investigates time and generational trends in measures of social capital from 1972 to 2004. The term "social capital" is used to refer to connections among people and organizations. These social networks have important implications for social identity, emotional support, as well as the exchange of goods, services, and information. Research questions that can be explored using this guide include: what factors might account for changes in social capital over time, what are the consequences of high/low levels of social capital, under what conditions might high levels of social capital be detrimental, and low levels of social capital beneficial, whether all dimensions of social capital evolved similarly over time, and whether factors such as race, gender, and social class influence how much and what kind of social capital groups have. Crosstabulation and comparison of means are used in the analyses.

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Study Description

Scope of Study