Social Capital in the City

Community and Civic Life in Philadelphia

Edited by Richard Dilworth
Book Cover

PB: $34.95
EAN: 978-1-59213-345-1
Publication: Jun 06

HC: $96.50
EAN: 978-1-59213-344-4
Publication: Jun 06

Ebook: $34.95
EAN: 978-1-59213-346-8

256 pages
6 x 9
9 tables, 1 figs., 3 halftones, 1 maps

The first interdisciplinary work to examine "social capital" in a single city

Read the Foreword and Introduction (pdf).


Much of today's heated academic discussion about "social capital" is either theoretical in nature or revolves around national survey data, neither of which adequately explains the specific social networks that actually sustain life in cities. This is the first book about social capital that both spans a broad range of social contexts and time periods and focuses on a single city, Philadelphia. Contributors examine such subjects as voter behavior, education, neighborhood life, church participation, park advocacy, and political activism. The wide scope of the book reflects its concern for comprehending the uniqueness and diversity of urban social networks. Moving beyond typical definitions, the original essays collected here utilize case studies to demonstrate how social capital is nested in larger structures of power and cannot be appreciated without an understanding of context. Arguing that urban society is "social capital writ large," contributors complicate and deepen our knowledge of a crucial concept and its fruitful applications.

Table of Contents

Foreword – Seymour J. Mandelbaum Acknowledgments Introduction: The Place that Loves You Back? – Richardson Dilworth Part I. Social Capital in Historical Context 1. The 1876 Centennial in Philadelphia: Elite Networks and Political Culture – Jerome Hodos 2. Bonfires, Fistfights, and Roaring Cannons: Election Day and the Creation of Social Capital in the City of Philadelphia – Mark Brewin 3. Community Advocacy and Volunteerism in Wissahickon Park, 1895-2005 – David R. Contosta and Carol L. Franklin Part II. Social Capital in Urban Education 4. Leveraging Social Capital: The University as Educator and Broker – Barbara Ferman 5. Community-Based Education in West Philadelphia: The Promise and Limits of Social Capital Production – Melina Patterson Part III. Neighborhood-Based Social Capital and Local Institutions 6. Credit Unions and Social Capital in Philadelphia – Michael Janson 7. The Comparative Disadvantage of African American-Owned Enterprises: Ethnic Succession and Social Capital in Black Communities – Jennifer Lee 8. Whose Social Capital? How Economic Development Projects Disrupt Local Social Relations – Judith Goode and Robert T. O'Brien 9. Rootedness, Isolation, and Social Capital in an Inner-City White Neighborhood – Patricia Stern Smallacombe 10. Wellsprings of Social Capital: African American Churchwomen in Philadelphia – Valeria Harvell Conclusion: The Declining Political Value of Social Capital – Matthew A. Crenson and Benjamin Ginsberg About the Contributors Index

About the Author(s)

Richardson Dilworth is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Drexel University, and author of The Urban Origins of Suburban Autonomy.


In the Series

  • Philadelphia Voices, Philadelphia Visions edited by David W. Bartelt

    Philadelphia has always been a city that has embraced a richness of voice and vision, defying attempts to define it in a one-dimensional frame. Books in this series, Philadelphia Voices, Philadelphia Visions, edited by David W. Bartelt, will give voice to the diverse communities and perspectives that help define the city, and to address public issues that the city's community, civic and academic leadership raise in the public arena. The series is interdisciplinary, encompassing discussions of social divisions, cultural heterogeneity, and the importance of popular culture as expressions of communities that critique, celebrate, and continually reconstitute the Philadelphia region.