Social capital is presumed to help individuals who lack financial or human capital achieve collective action through their social ties and networks of relationships. But does it help individuals overcome their socioeconomic disadvantages relative to their wealthier neighbors, or does the accumulation of social capital merely reproduce socioeconomic disparities, particularly in economically segregated places? Leveraging data from the Current Population Survey, I test whether residential income segregation is associated with larger income differences in social capital investments and collective action. I find that in more economically segregated places, wealthier residents are more likely to be members of neighborhood organizations and report working with other community members to address local issues. These results are robust to the inclusion of other potential confounders, including income inequality, racial context, and racial residential segregation. This research has implications for policy makers and stakeholders interested in building a more inclusive civic arena.
Research Professor. Director at Learning Change Project – Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
Giorgio Bertini does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from these papers, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.
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