Social capital refers to the networks as well as the shared norms, values and knowledge that enable co-operation within or between groups.
The goals that these networks are involved in might not be praiseworthy, but what matters is that they are pursuing shared objectives. For social capital to take effect, individuals must be able to trust each other enough to work together. From the look of things, social capital has been declining considerably. If things are to change, a few things have to be put in place.
One of the ways through which social capital can be hanged is to change the education system.While it is clearly evident that the current generation is more educated than their parents, the increased level of education has not done anything to increase the social capital. Instead, the increased demands of the education sector have only created a scenario where students are growing further from each other. For this to change, the aspect of memorization that is prevalent in most schools should be modified to create an environment where group activities and team projects is promoted.
The other way through which social capital can be increased is by reducing the financial pressure on people.In most cases, there is a general misconception that the people who are employed are more rushed. However, the truth is that working people tend to have more civic participation as compared to financially strapped people. To increase social capital, the government is supposed to create institutions that abolish corruption and allows competition to thrive.
Once people feel that they are free from any sort of economic pressure, they will feel ore relaxed and will have time to connect with other members of the society.The other thing that the government can do to increase social capital is by desisting from providing services that are traditionally provided for by the private sector or the civil society. In most cases, co-operation comes from habit and practice and for that reason if the government undertakes to organize everything the people become fully dependent on it. There are many factors that have led to the decrease of social capital.
One of the factors has been the changing role of women in the community. In the past, most women were housewives something that gave them much time for social capital formation.The exodus of women from the home to the paid labor force has, therefore, had a major effect on the social connectedness in the American society. In addition to this, the collapse of the marriage and family unit has also played a significant role in the diminished social unit.
The government has also made a major contribution to the diminishing social capital. By taking up roles that were traditionally meant for the private sector, the government has left the people with nothing to do hus shifting their reliance on each other to solely on the government.From the time that this article was written to the present day, so much has changed in the United States. However, all the changes that have taken place have not done anything in as far as increasing the social capital is increased.
Today, more women are joining paid labor force than any other time in history and the marriage unit is on its deathbed. In addition to this, the government is doing virtually everything for the people thus leaving the private sector with nothing to do. This has only led to further collapse of the social capital.