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Petr Matous, University of Tokyo Kazumasa Ozawa, University of Tokyo Introduction Almost one third of the world’s urban population, or one billion people, live in slums.
The majority of them are in the poor regions of the world. Moreover, a further ‘urbanization of poverty’ is observed, as the mass of world’s poor migrate to the metropolitan areas (UN-Habitat, 2003b). In slums, networks of personal relationships play a crucial role for survival. The provision of infrastructure lags behind the speedy urbanization, and peri-urban slum areas often have no formal utilities (Davis, 2004).
Many people can satisfy their basic human needs only via informal personal connections. In the absence of access to official institutions, and services, necessary resources and information for survival are obtained mainly through unofficial channels.
Slums are not homogenous. A large part of inequalities between various social groups or genders can be explained by the difference in quality of their social networks (Figure 1). Individuals without reciprocal ties outside of their households, such as recent migrants or discriminated minorities, are the most vulnerable. Those, without a supportive network within the slum area can hardly cope during difficult times; those without connections outside of the slum area have low chances of getting a job in the formal sector, or participation in the local decision making (UN-Habitat, 2003a).
1 This article is drawn from Matous’s PhD dissertation titled “Relation of Slum Dwellers’ Social Capital and Their Gains from Community-Based Infrastructure Development: The Case of Water Supply in Manila, Philippines” (2007), University of Tokyo, Tokyo. The supervisors of the research were Kazumasa Ozawa, Tsuneaki Yoshida, Hideyuki Horii, Masahide Horita, and Keisuke Hanaki. It further benefited from the comments of Jude Esguerra, Taka Ueda, Ken’Ichiro Ikeda, Mike Handford, Naofumi Suzuki, and Shunsaku Komatsuzaki. I am grateful to James Esguerra, Bing Camacho, Jem Lapitan, Nat Dawn, Han Jarin, Takaki Tsuchiya and the people living in the studied area for their assistance during the survey. This study was supported by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan.
The amount of resources accessible through one’s personal network can be expressed and measured as individual social capital (Lin 2001). Using this concept, we can explore the existing inequalities within slum communities. However, since social capital has a special meaning for slum dwellers and because of various obstacles to administration, the existing methods need to be adjusted before application in slum areas.
In this article, we describe how we developed an individual social-capital survey instrument for slum areas, and how it was verified through an application in a Philippine slum. After a brief review of the existing theoretical approaches to the measurement of social capital, we describe our field work which included the development of the tool by a series of tests and the actual data gathering process. This paper also covers an analytical development of slum dwellers’ social capital measures, which are based on the gathered data. Consequently, a way of aggregation and visualization of groups’ social capital is proposed. Moreover, a simple way of measurement of social capital creation during community activities is developed and tested.
Definition and Measurability of Social Capital The amount of literature on social capital has been rapidly increasing but in many cases only vague definitions of social capital have been used, which allowed only fuzzy measurement. In this section the main conceptual approaches to social capital are briefly reviewed.
The social-capital construct is most often used as a collective-level attribute of communities (see Hayami 2006). The term has become widely popular through the works of Robert Putnam (for example Putnam 1993; Putnam 1995). His ‘social capital’ represents collective attributes such as norms, trust, and networks. However, the mechanism of the concept defined by multiple attributes is unclear. It is difficult to determine the causal relationships among the factors (Cook 2005; Durlauf and Fafchamps 2005). The broadness of this definition allowed to use the term as a new substitute for cohesion, social solidarity, or capacity for collective action or any other ethically valuable community attribute (Briggs 1998). Moreover, it obscures what is going on at the micro-level (ibid). Putnam measures social capital by assessment of civic participation, specifically organization membership. Since not all organizations produce social benefits, Isham and Kahkonen (1999) used coefficients for different types of organizations; however, which organization deserves which coefficient is debatable.
Another popular approach is that of James Coleman. Coleman (1990) placed the outcomes of social capital explicitly within its definition. According to his concept, social capital is anything related to social structure that facilitates individual or collective action. However, such a functional definition is theoretically questionable.
Defining the construct by its outcomes does not distinguish causes and effects, and thus make independent measurement of social capital impossible (Foley and Edwards 1997).
Social Capital Definition Used in this Study In this study, Bourdieu’s approach to social capital is utilized (Bourdieu 1986).
Bourdieu defines social capital as ‘the aggregate of the actual or potential resources which are linked to possession of durable network of more or less institutionalized relationships of mutual recognition’ (ibid, pp. 248). Bourdieu moreover clearly describes the meaning of social capital at the individual level. ‘The volume of social capital possessed by a given agent thus depends on the size of the network of connections he can effectively mobilize and on the volume of capital (economic, cultural, or symbolic) possessed in his own right by each of those to whom he is connected (ibid, pp. 249). Such individual social capital ‘is what we draw on when we get others, whether acquaintances, friends, or kin, to help us solve problems, seize opportunities, and accomplish other aims that matter to us’ (Briggs 1998, pp. 178).
This definition is not dependent on idealistic assumptions about community - pressure that social ties exert on community members is not always positive (Portes and Landolt 1996; Gargiulo and Benassi 2000). It takes into account that individuals can use their social capital, like any kind of resource, with positive as well as negative consequences for the society (see for example Durlauf and Fafchamps 2005), which the Putnam approach ignores (Schulman and Anderson 2001).
With this concept, we can quantitatively assess disparities within slums among individuals, social capital created during specific events, and aggregate social capital derived from the micro-level relations.
Types of Social Capital Social capital is a multi-dimensional concept. The main two (overlapping) forms that can be distinguished in the literature are (1) social capital to ‘get by’ or social support, and (2) social capital to ‘get ahead’ or social leverage (Briggs 1998).
Expressive Social Capital as the Social Support to ‘Get by’ Expressive social capital is directly contributes to an individual’s wellbeing. For example, it includes keeping a good mood by chatting with close friends. This type of support can be gained only through social networks (Bruggen 2001). Strong relations, which according to the homophily principle are more likely to be created with people who are similar to ego2, are expected to provide a higher chance for the success of expressive action (Lin 2001). Also in case of slum dwellers, social ties with others of similar socio-economic status provide them the best opportunities to access expressive social capital.
Strong relations within a group, or network closure or a clique, are related to Putnam’s ‘bonding social capital’ (1995). Densely knit networks of strong ties can shield mental 2 Individual from whom social relations are referenced and physical stressors (especially in lower economies) and are therefore good for wellbeing (Haines and Hurlbert 1992). Moreover they are useful during emergency situations. In terms of social order, if everyone in a community knows each other, normative systems can be shared, a more effective sanctioning system is enabled and free-riding disabled. This can lead to trust, and enable actual mobilization of potential support. (called ‘bayanihan’in the Philippines).
Instrumental Social Capital as the Social Leverage to ‘Get Ahead’ Instrumental social capital increases individuals’ chances for gaining more resources that are instrumentally useful for achieving well-being, for example, getting a job due to information obtained from an acquaintance (Lin 2001). This form of social capital helps one to ‘get ahead’ or change one’s opportunity set (Briggs, 1998). Diverse resources can be mobilized via relations to diverse social groups, or links across so-called structural holes (Burt 1992). Heterophilous3 relations generally tend to access better instrumental social capital and tend to be weak (Granovetter 1973). In the case of slum dwellers, ties to the external society are likely to have the instrumental functions described above.
This type of slum dwellers’ social capital needs to be increased to foster their inclusion in the whole society.
Links across various social groups are related to Putnam’s ‘bridging social capital’ (1995) are a precondition for development in terms of economics, pluralism and tolerance(Cook, Rice and Gerbasi 2002).
Existing Methods to Measure Social Capital and their Applicability in Slum Areas A number of tools for social capital measurement have been developed. This section briefly reviews existing survey instruments that meet the theoretical requirements expressed above and their cross-cultural applicability.
Name, Resource, and Position Generators At the individual level, social capital has been measured by name, resource, and position generators.
Eliciting which individuals are in ego’s network by name generators is probably the most popular network-based social capital measurement method. The personal network itself, however, is not social capital. Name generator does not measure the resources that are embedded in the network (Gaag 2005).
Gaag and Snijders (2005) have developed a direct method to measure resources embedded in social networks of Dutch respondents. Their resource generator is a set of 3 Relations with dissimilar people questions asking whether they know someone who posses some of the listed material and non-material resources. Unfortunately, this collection of resources would not be relevant in other cultures.
The position generator method (Lin and Dumil 1986), on the other hand, is more suitable for application in various cultures. This instrument usually consists of a list of occupations, and the respondents are asked whether they know anyone in each occupation. Since the general division of occupations across all complex societies in the world is similar (Treiman 1977), this method is most suitable for social capital measurement in various cultures. The principle of this method is based on the assumption that division of labour is the main factor behind social inequality, with one’s occupation giving the best estimate of his or her control of resources (Treiman 1977).
Therefore, the diversity of accessible occupations can be used as an indicator of the diversity of social resources one can access, which is a good measure of social capital (Lin 1982).
Even this method, however, needs to be adjusted so that the set of specific occupations represent the most valuable resources in a non-Western slum setting.
Position Generator Measures Occupational prestige is strongly linked to socioeconomic status and social class. Based on occupational prestige, several measures of social capital derived from the position generator appear in the literature (Gaag 2005). The most popular measures and their meaning for general population are listed below.
The highest accessed prestige: indicates the access to people who have generally higher control over valued resources (wealth, power, status).
The lowest accessed prestige: indicates access to people who are generally helpful for carrying out manual work or unqualified tasks.