Social capital is a term used to describe the value that people gain from their social networks and the relationships that they have with others. According to social capital theory, there are two dimensions of social capital that are particularly important: structural and cognitive.
Structural Social Capital
Structural social capital refers to the resources that people can access through their social networks. These resources might include information, financial support, or access to job opportunities. Structural social capital is based on the actual connections that individuals have with others in their network.
One example of structural social capital is a networking event. Attendees at a networking event might exchange business cards and make new connections with others in their industry. These new connections could lead to job opportunities or collaborations down the line.
Structural social capital can also be seen in online communities and forums. People who participate in these groups can gain access to information and resources from other members of the group.
Cognitive Social Capital
Cognitive social capital refers to the norms, values, and beliefs that individuals share with others in their network. These shared understandings help to build trust between people and allow them to work together more effectively.
One example of cognitive social capital is a group of friends who all share similar political beliefs. Because they share these beliefs, they are able to discuss political issues with each other openly and without fear of judgment. This shared understanding helps to build trust between them.
Cognitive social capital can also be seen in workplaces where employees share a common set of values or goals. When employees feel like they are working toward a common purpose, it can help them feel more motivated and engaged in their work.
In conclusion, there are two dimensions of social capital that are important according to social capital theory: structural and cognitive. Structural social capital refers to the resources that people can access through their networks while cognitive social capital refers to the shared norms and beliefs that help build trust and cooperation between people. By understanding these two dimensions, individuals can work to build stronger social networks and gain more value from their relationships with others.