ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Role of Social Capital in the Performance of Fish Businesses

Fisheries are an intensive sector that provide a livelihood to many people, including fisherfolk, retailers, head loaders and others. While the government has made attempts to improve the infrastructure, such as harbours and cold storage systems, there has been no investment in improving the fishers’ access to social capital. The analysis of survey data for 268 usable sampled fish retailers, 235 women and 33 men, clearly indicates substantial improvements in the profitability and business turnover when there is access to social capital. It is suggested that incorporating strategies which enhance social capital in the market institutions would restore and enhance the role of fisherwomen in the fish businesses.

Social Capital and Collective Action

With the retreat of the interventionist state, development is often perceived as a product of partnership between the state and civil society with increasing emphasis on people's participation at the grass roots. Using a framework of collective action based upon social capital, this paper examines whether social capital is important for successful development outcomes at the grass roots in forest protection and watershed development. Three villages of Adilabad district in Andhra Pradesh are the focus of the study.

Measuring Social Capital

A framework for the measurement of social capital at the local level applied in four forest protection committees in Midnapore district of West Bengal shows that mere establishment of institutions is not a guarantee that localised natural resources will be managed in a sustainable manner. The process of social capital formation is important. Increase in social capital of an institution is important for the achievement of its objectives in a sustainable manner.

Social Capital and Development Processes

The precise nature of the creation of social capital and the role it plays in furthering development interventions at local levels as well as the nature of interaction between new institutions and older formalised networks need to be more clearly understood to bring on enduring development. An evolving and increasing stock of social capital forms a necessary input for sustained development. This paper draws on three developmental interventions in different parts of India to examine concepts of social capital, and its role as an index of synergy between agents located in different formal sectors.

Social Capital and Realm of the Intellect

The wide range of application and celebration of social capital is acknowledged and, yet the question of what is social capital remains unsatisfactorily answered. Despite its popularity, social capital has created an undercurrent of opposition from progressive scholars with intellectual integrity. As this article argues, they have not been more numerous and outspoken, precisely because it is very hard to generate serious debate and disagreement. Individual advancement aside - an important factor in the rise of social capital - all it reveals is much by way of intellectual bankruptcy and a failure to recognise how social capital's ready accommodation of opposition represents a highly successful form of a legitimising repressive tolerance.

Investigating Democracy and Social Capital in India

Social capital refers to trusts, networks and norms shared by a group of actors that enable them to act together more effectively to pursue shared objectives. The study of civil society and social capital allows for the study of conflict over resources or group domination. The theoretical significance of social capital is not that it will necessarily lead to societal peace and harmony, nor does its study necessarily exclude politics and political conflict. The point is to focus attention on non-material resources at the micro-level and their possible impact on the macro-level. Whether these resources, the social capital, are structured on the basis of class, caste, religious group or geographical belonging is open to empirical investigation.

Democracy and Social Capital in Central Himalaya in Central Himalaya

Does social capital make democracy work? Democracy is by definition empowering. A logical corollary is that development should be decentralised and with social capital, democracy and development could be packaged as a model for replication. Ground reality is more complex, as the fieldwork on which this paper is based shows. It also suggests that social capital cannot be understood outside of its particular cultural, ideological and institutional contexts or indeed independently of the nature of social segmentedness, whether along caste, class or any other lines.

Social Capital, Panchayats and Grass Roots Democracy

A study of the new panchayats of UP provides an opportunity for understanding the role played by social capital in the functioning of democratic institutions in segmented societies. A key finding of the study in two districts of UP, Meerut and Azamgarh, is that segmentation arising out of caste/class divisions is a significant contextual variable in determining the development of trust, social capital between groups and democratic functioning.

Social Connectedness and Fragility of Social Capital

Social capital is in a way fundamentally about 'connectedness' or engagements - especially those that contribute in building trust among people, increase the predictability of their behaviour and promote collective action. The author seeks to explore the associations and interactions that give rise to such engagements - by locating his search in a small village in Orissa's Puri district. Here collective memory and its role in conflict resolution in the village is crucial in creating or destroying trust. Memory, among other things, holds the key for the continuation of social connectedness or engagements.
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