Analysing social capital from a relational perspective: a pilot survey of families with children and preadolescents

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The present study intends to illustrate the results of a pilot survey aimed at exploring the relationship between the structural aspect of family social capital (relationship networks) and its main qualitative components, i.e., trust, reciprocity and cooperative orientation, on the basis of a review of the literature oriented by a relational sociology outlook. Besides, the two functions of bonding (re: intra-family relationships) and bridging (re: inter-family relationships) have been distinguished, with an aim to investigate their mutual relationship, assuming its circularity, in contradiction with the notion, recurrent in the literature, that bonding relationships, such as those within a family, can promote values harmful to society. A preliminary analysis of the literature highlighted a lack of clarity in the scales and indicators used so far. Hence, six ad hoc scales have been developed to measure intra- and inter-family social capital. In the first parte of the chapter, the literature on, and definitions of, social capital are reviewed, with particular reference to family social capital; secondly, the relational approach is expounded; thirdly, the indicators used for measuring its components are selected; finally, the results of a pilot study conducted in North-Western Italy is presented.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Relational Gaze on a Changing Society
EditorsE Carrà, P Terenzi
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • family
  • relational studies
  • social capital


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