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By Carla Koen; Kate Mason

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Social capital and trust Contemporary research on culture and economic development, however, has departed from the historical analysis of Weber and instead focuses on the concept of social capital. As the term suggests, the social and the capital stand for the non-economic and the economic respectively. Although the definition of the concept of social capital is ambiguous, most of us have some idea of what it means. Broadly speaking, it has to do with the norms and values present in a society. As a result of the general interest in the role of culture described earlier, the concept of social capital has been developed.

Garcia Canclini, N. (1995) Hybrid Cultures: Strategies for Entering and Leaving Modernity. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press. Geertz, C. (1976) From the native’s point of view: on the nature of anthropological understanding, in Basso, K. and Selby, H. (eds) Meaning in Anthropology. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 221–37. Geertz, C. (1983) Local Knowledge: Further Essays in Interpretive Anthropology. New York: Basic Books. Giddens, A. (1999) Runaway World: How Globalization is Reshaping our Lives.

Moreover, the two kinds of explanation could complement each other in contributing to rich accounts of culture. The emic and etic perspectives each provide only half of the explanation of culture. Because emic studies tap into the explanations held by cultural insiders, the emic perspective leads inherently to an emphasis on the causes of phenomena that are internal and local to the cultures and organizations being studied. Because etic perspectives attune one to relationships between external structural variables and behaviours, a functionalist story is more likely to result.

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