Informele aspecten van sociaal kapitaal. Ontwikkelingen in Nederland 1970-1998


  • Scheepers,Peer
  • Janssen,Jacques


Informal aspects of social capital. Developments in the Netherlands 1970-1998. Summary: In this contribution we set out to answer questions related to the supposed decline of social capital in Dutch society over the period 1970-1998. We conceptualise informal aspects of social capital as pertaining to informal social relationships and mutual trust that may provide individuals with extra resources to produce all kinds of utilities. The operationalisation refers to social contacts (with family, neighbours and friends), voluntary help provision, the participation in volunteer work and the level of trust. Using longitudinal data collected over the period 1970-1998, we test hypotheses on the decline of social capital in the Dutch population in general as well as within specific social categories related to denomination, marital status, and cohort. We find that, in general, there is no sign of declining social capital over the period of investigation. It turns out that regular church attenders, married people, the middle class, and, particularly, the cohort of baby-boomers have high levels of social capital.