Sociologie Românească, Vol. II, no. 1/2004, pp. 79-100.
Cercetare sociologică în două asociații de locatari din București
Sociological Research in Two Inhabitants Associations in Bucharest
Magda Tancău, Sorina Iacob, Cosmin Toth
Abstract (Rezumat în limba engleză): The theoretical foundations of the concept of social capital are still to be developed; there are a lot of controversies regarding the definition, the very construction of the concept and even its theoretical utility, not to mention its role in the public policies and the strategies for development. The concept of social capital was initially introduced by Loury (1977) to designate a resource of a social action, and after that, the concept was taken over and enlarged by P. Bourdieu. A different systematic approach of this subject was offered by the sociologist J. Coleman in his Foundation of Social Theory. Eventually, R. Putnam used the concept of social capital in a research regarding the differences in the developments of some Italian provinces. Other perspectives about community development stress the role of the social capital as a resource requested by the necessity of the mutual of the individual actions and their cooperation for the achieving of the collective ends. It is the utility of this concept in explaining social actions that forced us to try applying it in a field research project with the specific aim of understanding the differences (observed) between two neigbours associations from Bucharest. The neighbours association is an organized structure of cooperation between citizens of a given area (neighborhood), created for self-administration and sustaining their dwellings, as well as to promote and maintain decent relationships among neighbours. These ways of grouping generate social capital (J. Coleman) at the level of the neighbours group, capital which can be turned to a good account in collective-aimed actions. This very making actual of the social capital constitues the general purpose of our research. In order to achieve our objective, the following steps were made: first, we delimited the concept of social capital and made it operational, by selecting and retaining from the literature of the field the approaches suggested by J. Coleman, R. Putnam, D. Sandu; second, we did a small-sized comparative research to capture the actual working of the social capital institutional efficiency relationship (as for the institutions, we considered the associations of neighbours mentioned above).