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VOLUME 7 (2005), ISSUE 12 (YEARLY)






The concept of social capital appeared in Italy about thirteen years ago, thanks to the translation of Putnam’s work on the efficiency of the Italian regional administrations. From that moment on, the Italian contributions to social capital research have become manifold.  Up to the present time at least six disciplinary areas in which Social Capital has been widely used in Italy can be identified: Economics; Political Science, Political Sociology, Sociology of Local Development, Migration Sociology and, finally, Family Sociology. The global repertoire has, on the one hand promoted the dissemination of the concept  but on the other hand, favored mystifying interpretations of it. In addition, the different disciplines have often used a specific terminology characteristic of their particular area. The objective of this article can be summed up in the following two propositions: indicating those fields in which social capital has become an integral part of the sociological traditions; highlighting the specific connotations of social capital in the different disciplines.


Social Capital - Definitions - Italy - Research Literature - Bibliography


Massimo PENDENZA is an Associate Professor in Sociology at the University of Salerno, Italy, where he teaches the sociology of change and of compared social systemsi. He obtained his Ph.D. in Sociology at the University of Naples “Federico II” and was a Visiting Scholar at the Faculty of Social and Political Science (SPS) of University of Cambridge (UK). He has carried out research on local development, on ethnic conflicts and on European identity, focusing on relations of trust and on social capital. He has published two monographic works, edited two volumes and written several articles for specialist periodicals or volumes.


This article is a revised version of a paper presented the Second International Conference of The Social Capital Foundation, Buggiba, Republic of Malta, 20-23 September 2005. 


All work published in The International Scope Review is subject to copyright and may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, in any manner or in any medium - unless written consent  is given by The Social Capital Foundation represented by its President, unless the author's name and the one of The International Scope Review as the first publication medium appear on the work or the excerpt, and unless no charge is made for the copy containing the work or excerpt.

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