WIT Press

Local Development Using Social Capital As An Instrument: A Comparative Analysis


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329 - 338




234 kb

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WIT Press


P. Karametou & C. D. Apostolopoulos


This study aims to present the process for the development of a social capital measurement tool, which was adapted to the Greek socio-cultural context. The validity and the reliability of this social capital questionnaire were evaluated in a sample of 318 adults drawn from two different mountain rural areas in Greece. The social capital questionnaire is a useful instrument in measuring the existent stock of social capital and in understanding the local development \“physiognomy” of two Greek mountainous rural areas. However, we should keep in mind that the reliability of responses to questionnaires is always questionable, in particular for subjective questions about social norms. This is why detailed interviews constitute a precious tool to corroborate the results of a survey. For this reason, the present survey was subsequently followed up by 46 in-depth, semi-structured interviews with selected participants in both areas. The overall socio-economic status of the two case study areas was assessed in relation to a wide variety of social capital related variables. Using the data collected from the quantitative research, the paper describes how social capital is distributed geographically between the two different mountain areas. On the whole, both case study areas appear not to be substantially different in aggregate levels of social capital. Therefore, social capital seems to be different in its characteristics and underlying structure in both case study areas. Keywords: local development, social capital, mountain rural areas, Greece. 1 Introduction Social capital is not a single entity, but is rather multi-dimensional in nature. The definition of social capital dimensions used varies considerably from one study


local development, social capital, mountain rural areas, Greece.