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Social Capital in Romania at the beginning of the Milenium: Traveller in the no-friends land?

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Download Îngheț anti-îmbătrânire Draft The text still needs language proofing. A Romanian language version of this paper was published as chapter in the book Bogdan Voicu. Social Capital in Romania at the begginig of the Milenium: Traveller in the no-friends land? Very few studies discuss and empirically test assumption related to the determinants of social capital.

Even fewer consider simultaneously the impact of individual and contextual factors. This paper considers the levels of BrSC displayed by the individuals, and tries to find out if the difference between Eastern and Western Europeans lies rather at individual or at societal level. More, I explore the impact of the totalitarian past, rejecting the hypothesis that it directly influences the development of the BrSC.

However, one may also argue that the structure of the respective individual traits is partially due to the impact of the former totalitarian rule.

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In the beginning of the paper I briefly review the existing perspectives on social capital. I focus on the bridging-bonding distinction.

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Conceiving social capital as riduri adânci pe puntea nasului latent trait with various manifestations, I choose to measure its bridging form through four manifestations: meeting friends, membership in associations, generalized trust and confidence in institutions. In the second section of the paper, I build explanatory models for the BrSC, focusing on the above-mentioned four dependent variables.

The main research question becomes the core hypothesis of the paper: individual traits are determining most of the variation of the BrSC that one can access. Several additional hypotheses complete the explanatory models. The paper focuses mainly on the relation between the importance of the individual and of the contextual determinants, with a special interest for the effects of the former communist experience of the Eastern societies.

Therefore I do not detail very much the mechanisms which underlie the additional hypothesis that describe the individual level determinants. However they are briefly sketched in the second section of the paper. For testing the hypothesis, I use data from the European Social Survey, as described in the third section of the paper. The forth section is devoted to presenting the findings.

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Four sets of multilevel regressions are employed to predict the four types of BrSC manifestations. There are two main contributions that I bring to the existing literature. First is to consider the use of the communist past in multilevel models as predictor for BrSC. The existing literature considers the impact of communist, respectively other totalitarian rule on the development of social capital, but adequate empirical tests are lacking2.

Second, I empirically document the impact of the aggregate levels of social capital to the individual stocks of BrSC, which, as far as I know, is not yet addressed by the existing studies. Defining social capital Despite the novelty of the debates around social capital, substantially, the concept is not so new, being rather a contemporary refinement of the old ideas of such as Gemeinshaft or civic culture Paxton, BourdieuColemanand Putnam provided the basic framework which led to defining social capital as an attribute of social interaction, which finds its manifestations through various patterns of cooperation.

This allowed a very wide range of issues to be covered by social capital.

Moreover, Coleman opted for defining the concept through its functions, which left room for using social capital in many different and very broad understandings. The numerous assigned effects transformed the term, at the end of the 90s, in a sort of universal antidote Portes, which might be used in no matter context in order to generate social and community development.

The most frequently used dimensions include trusting people, confidence in institutions, involvement in voluntary associations, various other forms of social contacts, expressions of norms of cooperation.

Another important distinction is the one between bonding and bridging kit anti-imbatranire Anthony Logistica capital Narayan, ; Putnam, No matter which social relation one considers, it can actually described as encapsulating bonds between the involved actors. However, some connection target very similar people, having the kit anti-imbatranire Anthony Logistica main affiliation groups, while others underlie existing relations which bridge various social status groups.

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The second type of social capital, labeled as bridging social capital BrSC is said to be more productive for social development kit anti-imbatranire Anthony Logistica to make societies work. The distinction between bridging and bonding social capital is a rather loose one. It is quite difficult to decide if a specific connection rather is of bridging or of bonding type.

For instance, the frequent relations within the extended families are more likely to be manifestations of bonding 2 The exception is Paxton analyses of the determinants of generalized trust, as well kit anti-imbatranire Anthony Logistica the recent contributions of Meulemann b and van der Meer et al in analyzing involvement in associations, respectively the piele lăsată fermă anti-îmbătrânire of meeting friends.

However, the later two studies test for the totalitarian experience, not differentiating between communism and other forms of ex-totalitarian past. But kinship does not necessarily mean similarity. Larger families may include very different people, belonging to groups which may be traditionally opposed within the society, and otherwise never interacting.

In this case, the kinship relation if converted in contacts between the respective relatives, trusting each other and developing norms of pielea casei riduri sistem melc crema crema de completare si hranitoare, actually plays the role of a bridging connection.

However, the usual situation is the one where family is rather the place where bonding social capital manifests.

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Assigning connections and trusting in neighbors, co-workers, and friends as manifestations of BrSC is even more difficult. Many times these categories involve individuals which are very similar to the referred one. Other times, particularly when discussing about friends, such as, kit anti-imbatranire Anthony Logistica instance, old schoolmates, their presence is rather an indicator of bridging social capital.

From this point of view, as data for Romania shows Voicu, afriends are more useful than the current colleagues and co-workers, which are more resourceful than neighbors. Trusting people is also a loose concept. However, putting trust in people, at a general level, and trusting specific kit anti-imbatranire Anthony Logistica or status-groups creates a useful distinction Uslander, ; Paxton, The first form, generalized trust involves a diffuse confidence in all the people.

This constitutes by itself and contributes to further creating bridges between different groups within society. As opposed to this social or generalized trust, the more particularistic forms of trust, directed for instance towards neighbors or family, are more likely to express bonding social capital.

Confidence in institutions creates a basis for cooperation and producing public goods, and involves at its turn a diffuse trust in society. The focus of this paper is on BrSC, the interest being related to its production, and more specifically to the creme de fata gerovital given by societal determinants as compared to individual ones.

In particular I am concerned with the impact of totalitarian and ex-communist experience.

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In the kit anti-imbatranire Anthony Logistica sections, I limit the analysis of manifestations of BrSC to the above-mentioned four types of expression: contacts with friends, involvement in voluntary associations, generalized trust, respectively confidence in institutions.

Studying their variation across Europe serves as empirical în ce ordine se aplică produse anti-îmbătrânire for this paper, and provides validation for the hypotheses that I state in the next section.

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The impact of the communist regimes on the individual levels of social capital According to Putnamsocial capital is a cultural phenomenon, and it is located rather at kit anti-imbatranire Anthony Logistica level. It depends on the history of the collectivity and its accumulation requires long periods of time. Voluntary associations were discouraged to exist in their original form, the state trying to control them. People were formally agreeing with the principles officially stated by the rulers through the propaganda, but, in their daily life, actually followed different logics, no matter that they were regular citizens or members of the nomenklatura.

Both the double morale and the blats contributed to subverting trust and bridging relations, and to strengthening bonding connections. When practicing double morale, with anyone around as a potential delator, the social relations tend to limit to the close circle of trust, which become smaller and smaller and tend to resume to the kinship if not even to family.

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This impedes communication and developing relations and trust outside the main membership groups, which, at their turn, are often defined by ethnic, religious, kinship and very narrow social status attributes. The later ones had several decades more the opportunity to develop a functioning civic society, to better know people and to be more familiar to the existing institutional system.

This would finally lead to a higher generalized trust, participation in voluntary associations, propensity for meeting friends, and confidence in the existing institutions. On the opposite, the totalitarian rule blocks such evolutions. Most of the debate on these topics conceptualizes social capital as an attribute of the collectivities, particularly the society. As Coleman coined out, social capital is an attribute umplerea cearcanelor social interaction.

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However, its embedment in kit anti-imbatranire Anthony Logistica relations does not necessary implies that it belong solely to collectivities. The levels of BrSC of the individuals are likely to be determined, controlling for the influence of the collectivity, by various individual traits, from personality and biological determinants to resources, opportunities, values Halpern, This paper asks the question of what is more important for determining the differences of social capital among Europeans.

The existing literature infrequently provides simultaneous empirical testing of both the societal and the individual factors that might determine individual manifestations of social capital.

They converge in presenting evidences that when considering explaining the production of social capital at individual level, the individual factors are more important than the societal ones. When considering the impact of communism or of the totalitarian past, no matter of its form and ideology, one may also note that it is also reflected in attributes that the individuals have today, such as levels of education, religious practice and belief, incomes.

Therefore it might have a more important indirect contribution, mediated through these factors, than a direct impact for determining the current levels of bridging social capital.

The hypothesis that I test in this paper is that H1 considering the population of European countries, the direct influence of the ex-totalitarian past on the current levels of BrSC noticeable at individual level is rather low.

More, H2 what matters are the individual factors.

Second, as I already mentioned, when discussing about the impact of the ex-communist past on the social capital formation, the existing literature focus on the aggregate stocks of BrSC that exist at societal level.

With other words, the ex-communist, respectively, the totalitarian past may affect the creation of consistent cultures of social capital. This leads to the third core hypothesis, stating that H3 the communist totalitarian past is contributing more to explaining the cross- country variation of the social capital than to the variation across individuals.

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Producing the bridging social capital: other country-level factors As Meulemann a observes, there are two basic mechanisms through which the country context determines the individual levels of social capital. The first is the social order, which, through the existing social norms, directly guides the individual actions. With other words, it is likely to have a higher propensity towards BrSC in those societies where more individuals have BrSC. Producing and having BrSC become a societal norm.

Individuals have kit anti-imbatranire Anthony Logistica conform to the norm, in order to avoid exclusion. The weaker the norm is, the less it impacts on the individual levels of bridging social capital. On the other hand, individuals need a certain time to adopt new norms and values, created rather in critical communities, and spread in the entire collectivity Berger, Besides the four core hypotheses, there are several additional hypotheses given by considering various control variables for explaining the individual levels of BrSC.

They refer control variable which act as determinants of the social capital as identified by the existing literature. Most of the additional hypotheses state a clear determinism, while few others offer alternative views which are empirically tested within the paper. Religious tradition is also part of the same social order determinants as the norms represented by the social interaction practices.

However, religious tradition is not important per se. It rather acts as a proxy for a general cultural orientation. Orthodox and Catholic tradition are more hierarchic is their usual organization of the society and social relation. Protestantism is more egalitarian and put more emphasis on individual responsibility and involvement in creating the public good.

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It should involve more participation in collective-oriented associations Curtis, Grabb, Baer, ; Meulemann, b. Hierarchical, stratified cultures are less likely to lead to high levels of social trust Putnam,but rather to norms in which reducing uncertainty is done by strong obedience to the existing hierarchies. Previous studies e. Neller, provide empirical evidences that Protestant tradition leads to higher levels of social trust.

I also consider several country-level determinants which are part of the opportunity structure provided by each society. Some of these factors were already suggested, particularly ethnic and religious homogeneity. Two contradicting assumptions may be formulated here Halpern,