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Poverty, Inequality, and HealthAn International Perspective$
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David Leon and Gill Walt

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780192631961

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780192631961.001.0001

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Accounts of social capital: the mixed health effects of personal communities and voluntary groups

Accounts of social capital: the mixed health effects of personal communities and voluntary groups

Chapter:
(p.159) 8 Accounts of social capital: the mixed health effects of personal communities and voluntary groups
Source:
Poverty, Inequality, and Health
Author(s):

David A. Leon

Gill Walt

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780192631961.003.0008

This chapter considers studies which show positive associations between social capital and health, and others which show no such association. It argues that that failure to show positive results is not necessarily methodological but has to do with the ambiguous nature of social capital itself. It describes some of the roots of the idea of social capital in 19th-century sociology, and suggests that it is the very power of these ideas that has prevented us from seeing the mixed effects of social capital.

Keywords:   social capital, health, life expectancy, health effects, inequality, mortality

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