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“Religious networks and religious engagement as a source for social capital: case Georgia” - PhD Research proposal Presentation - Duration of the research.

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Presentation on theme: "“Religious networks and religious engagement as a source for social capital: case Georgia” - PhD Research proposal Presentation - Duration of the research."— Presentation transcript:

1 “Religious networks and religious engagement as a source for social capital: case Georgia” - PhD Research proposal Presentation - Duration of the research project : 3 years Ketevan Rcheulishvili Ilia State University The School of Graduate Studies Department of Social Sciences

2 Content  Introduction  Literature review  Background theory  Hypothesis and central Research Question  Methodology  Bibliographic references

3 Introduction General definition of Social Capital “connections among individuals--social networks and the norms of reciprocity and trustworthiness that arise from them.” (Robert Putnam. Bowling Alone 2000) Main reasons associated with the popularity of SC Theory:  Concentration on the positive consequences: positive connotations of SC concept  Non-pecuniary character of SC  Flexibility of the terminology: the vague definition of the term of SC

4 Literature review Origins of Social Capital Theory: contemporary strain of literature on concept of social capital  Pierre Boudieu  James Coleman  Robert Putnam Analytical framework of Robert Putnam’s Social Capital Theory (Bowling Alone: 2000) Literature related to Social Capital in Georgian society:  “Assessment of Social Capital in Georgia: 2011” conducted by Caucasus Research Recourse Centre (CRRC) 2011  “Civil society in the Caucasus: Myth and Reality” (by Jonathan Wheatley; Caucasus Analytical Digest # )

5 Background Theory: Theory of Social Capital Difficulties in defining Social Capital: multi-dimensional structure of Social Capital Key principles of Social Capital Theory  Social networks/community  norms  Trust  Public benefit Structure of social networks: bonding and bridging social capital with vertical and horizontal ties (Putnam: 2000)

6 Social capital Theory in Robert Putnam’s “Bowling Alone” Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community A Key thesis of Putnam’s work deals with the process of eroding of “social capital” (civic engagement) in the USA since 1950 The main reason for erosion of traditional Social Capital The role of religious networks and their engagement in generating and maintaining Social capital in civil society Interplay between religion and civic engagement in USA

7 The Hypothesis and Central Research Question Hypothesis: System of institutionalized relations between the members of religious community and their religious engagement creates the form of social capital, which can affect the civic consciousness and civic engagement of members of the same religious community. What kind of relationship and/or causality can exist between following variables: the level of religious engagement/membership and the level of civic engagement among the members of religious communities in Georgia?

8 Do religious institutions/engagement produce social capital and foster civic engagement in the society? supporting civic engagement and building social capital Religious communities Political communities Social communities Other communities Individuals

9 Research questions: Religious community - as a source for SC? To what extent can be religious community/church in Georgia considered as a civic community? Religious community – as a social institution and its structure Specific form of social capital produced by religious community Religious engagement and civil engagement Do religious communities/institutions in Georgia building any form of social capital which can affect the level of associational activism, and civic engagement in Georgian society?

10 Methodology Case study research Target group: Two religious communities in Georgia (Tbilisi) Target group selecting criteria: High level of religious engagement of religious community High level of civic engagement of religious community 1 Stage: Desk research (document examination and literature review of scientific articles, articles from religious newspapers and magazines, etc. ) Research topics for the first stage of the case study:  Empirical studies on social capital; Conceptual and methodological issues;  Various analytical approaches, theoretically based and empirically valid measures of social capital  Social capital and religion  Social capital in religious communities  Structure of social relations, institutionalized roles and behaviors among the religious communities in Georgia  Trusting social connections between the members of religious communities

11 Methodology II Stage Participant observation (collecting accessible information about the everyday practice of the people in religious communities through the focused observation on the community) Research subjects for the second stage of case study:  Everyday life of religious community; religious engagement among the members of the community  Institutionalized roles and behaviors of members in the community; Structure of social relations among the community members  Public/civic actions and other arrangements organized by the religious community; level of involvement in other civic actions organized by non-members of the community

12 Methodology III Stage: In-depth interviews Target group: priests, members of the selected religious communities highly engaged in religious life and actively involved in community actions. Research subjects for the third stage of the case study:  The attitudes towards the religious life and religious engagement of members of the community; towards their role in the community;  Level of trust between the religious community; In which terms do people describe their relations and their trust to other members of community  In which terms do people attending civic actions describe their behavior and the attitudes towards their civic engagement? (In religious terms and explanations, in terms of individual interest or in terms of general civic duties)

13 Bibliographic references Putnam, Robert D.: Bowling Alone. The Collapse and Revival of American Community. New York: Simon & Schuster Kippenberg, Hans G.:Das Sozialkapital Religioeser Gemeinschaften im Zeitalter der Globalisierung. Zürich: Theologischer Verlag Knudsen, Brian; Florida, Richard and Rousseau, Denise.: Bridging and Bonding: A Multi-Dimensional Approach to Regional Social Capital. University of Toronto. The Martin Prosperity Institute Farr, James.: Social Capital: A Conceptual History, Political Theory, No.1. Sage Publications Norris, Pippa and Inglehart, Ronald.: Religious Organizations and Social Capital. A quarterly publication of the International Center for Not-for- Profit Law (ICNL) Wheatley, Jonathan.:“Civil society in the Caucasus: Myth and Reality” Caucasus Analytical Digest # 12, Forschungsstelle Osteuropa Bremen and Center for Security Studies Zürich: Heinrich Böll Stiftung Assessment of Social Capital in Georgia: 2011” conducted by Caucasus Research Recourse Centre (CRRC). Tbilisi: CRRC Publications 2011.


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