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Dr Yaojun Li Reader in Sociological Analysis Department of Sociology Birmingham University Web:

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1 Dr Yaojun Li Reader in Sociological Analysis Department of Sociology Birmingham University Web: Tel: In search of machers and schmoozers: forms of social capital and their impacts on political trust/efficacy For the ESRC ESDS seminar, British Academy, 7 Nov. 2006

2 2 A World of Capitalists We could also have: Physical capital, symbolic capital, hedonic capital, political capital Human Capital (Mincer,Becker) Social Capital (Putnam) Cultural Capital (Bourdieu) Economic Capital (Income, wealth?) (Goldthorpe, Spilerman)

3 3 The instrumentalist tradition The strength of weak ties (Granovetter 1973, 1974, 1985) The strength of strong ties (Lin et al. 1981) The strength of locations (or structural holes) (Burt, 1992, 2000) The closed circuit for children’s education and for Jewish diamond traders in New York (Coleman, 1988, 1990) The rational choice approach: As Position Generator (Lin, 2001); As Resource Generator (Van Der Gaag and Snijders, 2005) The stratification tradition For the resourceful (Bourdieu, 1986): as a secondary measure for the more powerful economic and cultural capitals The civic tradition Putnam’s approach (1993, 2000) Social capital ‘traditions’

4 4 Frequently-cited ‘theories’ : -- Putnam, Bourdieu and Coleman Social capital refers to connections among individuals – social networks and the norms of reciprocity and trustworthiness that arise from them (Putnam, 2000: 19). Social capital is the aggregate of the actual or potential resources which are linked to possession of a durable network of more or less institutionalised relationships of mutual acquaintance and recognition (Bourdieu, 1993: 51). Social capital is a variety of ‘entities’ which have ‘two characteristics in common: They all consist of some aspect of a social structure, and they facilitate certain actions of individuals who are within the structure’ (Coleman, 1990: 302)

5 5 Declining social capital ‘Despite rapid increases in education that have given more of us than ever before the skills, the resources and the interests that once fostered civic engagement... Americans have been dropping out in droves, not merely from political life, but from organized community life more generally’ (Putnam 2000: 64).

6 6 Machers and schmoozers ‘In Yiddish, men and women who invest lots of time in formal organisations are often termed machers – that is, people who make things happen in the community. By contrast, those who spend many hours in informal conversation and communion are termed schmoozers … Machers are the all-around good citizens of their community.’ (Putnam, 2000: 93-4) ‘Schmoozers have an active social life, but by contrast to machers, their engagement is less organized and purposeful, more spontaneous and flexible. [Their multifaceted informal activities] all involve, in the felicitous expression of Alexander Pope, “the flow of soul”’ (p. 94) ‘The two types of social involvement overlap to some extent … Some social settings fall into a gray area between the formal and the informal … Nevertheless, as an empirical matter, the two syndromes are largely distinct – many people are active in one sphere but not the other. And many people do neither; they are not involved in community affairs, and they don’t spend much time with friends and acquaintances’ (p. 94)

7 7 Which to prefer: Machers or Schmoozers? ‘When philosophers speak in exalted tones of “civic engagement” and “democratic deliberation”, we are inclined to think of community associations and public life as the higher form of social involvement, but in everyday life, friendship and other informal types of sociability provide crucial social support’ (Putnam, 2000: 95)

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11 11 Item Response Theory (IRT) Model where Y is the response to item i from individual j, is the score of individual j on the latent factor, is the factor loading for item i, is the threshold for a response of K or above. For an item with K categories, 1 to K, =  (Lord and Novick, 1968; Skrondal and Rabe-Hesketh, 2004).

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17 17 My other writings on social capital Li, Y. and D. Marsh (2006) ‘New forms of political participation: searching for expert citizens and everyday makers’, under review. Li, Y., Savage, M. and Warde, A. (2006) ‘Civic engagement, social network and social stratification in the UK: a random effects analysis’, under review. Savage, M., Li, Y. and Tampubolon, G. (2006) ‘Rethinking the politics of social capital: challenging Tocquevillian perspectives’, in Edwards, R. Franklin, J. and Holland, J. (eds), Social Capital: Concepts, policy and practice, London: Sage. Li, Y. (2006) ‘Social capital, social exclusion and wellbeing’, in Angela Scriven and Sebastian Garman (eds), Public Health: Social context and action, London: Sage. Li, Y. (2005) ‘Social capital, ethnicity and the labour market’, Proceedings of International Conference on Engaging Community, jointly organized by the United Nations and the Government of the State of Queensland in Australia. Li, Y., Pickles, A. and Savage, M. (2005) ‘Social Capital and Social Trust in Britain’, European Sociological Review, 21(2): Li, Y., Savage, M. and Pickles, A. (2003) ‘Social Capital and Social Exclusion in England and Wales ( )’, British Journal of Sociology, 54(4): Li, Y., Savage, M. and Pickles, A. (2003) ‘Social Change, Friendship and Civic Participation’, Sociology Research Online Li, Y., Savage, M., Tampubolon, G., Warde, A. and Tomlinson, M. (2002) ‘Dynamics of social capital: trends and turnover in associational membership in England and Wales: ’, Sociological Research Online, Vol. 7, No. 3.

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