Building social capital: a case study of a Jamaican community-based organization

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Authors

Hayles, Lisa M.

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University of Guelph

Abstract

This thesis in an investigation of the meaning and composition of social capital in Bowerbank, a community in Kingston, Jamaica. Indicators of social capital were tested through an examination of one of Bowerbank's community-based organizations (CBOs)--the Windward Courts Citizens Development Organization (WCCDO). The analysis combined quantitative and qualitative indicators in order to construct a more nuanced understanding of social capital. The research illustrates that social capital is an analytical construct rather than a normative one. Informal networks and relationships are a significant aspect of social capital though paradoxically, it is formal organizations which have the resources to support the human capital development necessary for community social capital. Planners can assist community organizations to build/maintain social capital by critically analyzing the power relations in a community and adopting a social learning model. The social assets framework is a preliminary step to creating a methodology for assessing social capital rather than a definitive measurement.

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Keywords

social capital, Bowerbank, Kingston, Jamaica, indicator, community-based organizations, Windward Courts Citizens Development Organization, social assets framework

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