The Challenge of Preserving Social Capital in a Diverse Society

The erosion of social capital remains one of the issues that need to be addressed by political and social scientists today. With the increasing diversity in different societies, the problem becomes more imminent as each one tries to conform to the norms and rules of society. In the end, by addressing these inefficiencies, better outcomes can be exhausted by individuals, groups and organizations which can boost efficiency in outputs and objectives.

In understanding the definition of social capital, one must understand that it revolves around the parameters of society through customs and norms.

It comprises of numerous relationships practiced by individuals and groups. In a nutshell, this term revolves around the “rules, norms, obligations, reciprocity and trust embedded in social relations, social structures and society’s institutional arrangements which enable members to achieve their individual and community objectives” (Hobbs, 2000, p.1).

One concrete example that is happening in the world today as a consequence of the erosion of social capital involves the diversification of family roles leading to the creation new norms and principles for the family.

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It can be seen that more women are engaging into the labor force and provided limited opportunities for the socialization among children and families to happen. Due to this “time and energy available for building social capital is reduced” (Putnam, 1995, p.6).

Also, the concept and element of family has been slowly transforming alongside with the factors that contribute to the decline of social capital. Nowadays, there is a trend towards the lessening of marriage, increasing divorces and fewer children.

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This in turn accounts for lower opportunities towards civic engagement (Putnam, 1995).

To combat the deteriorating amount of social capital in homes, there must be an effort from society to realize the importance of family in its formation and at the same time balance the changes that are happening within the current environment (Putnam, 1995). This means that organizations, families and individuals should recognize the ways and means to attain increased civic engagement. Moreover, it must be determined “what types of organizations and networks most effectively embody – or generate social capital” under its precepts (Putnam, 1995, p.7).

To conclude, the different trends that are evident in today’s society continue to affect social affect and lead to its continued erosion. Due to this, there is must be a realization towards embracing these challenges and promote new programs and mechanisms that will revitalize the concept. It is only through collaborating and cooperating by various actors in civil society can the current state be alleviated.


  1. Hobbs, G. (June 2000) What is Social Capital? A Brief Literature Overview in Economic and
  2. Social Research Foundation. Retrieved October 3, 2008
  4. Putnam, R.D. (1995) Bowling Alone: America’s Declining Social Capital in Journal of Democracy. 6 no.1 Retrieved October 3, 2008. 1-9.
Updated: Apr 29, 2023
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The Challenge of Preserving Social Capital in a Diverse Society. (2020, Jun 02). Retrieved from

The Challenge of Preserving Social Capital in a Diverse Society essay
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