Social Capital Theory Bourdieu: Exploring the Concept

Social capital theory Bourdieu is a well-known concept in sociology that emphasizes the significance of social networks and relationships in achieving success. According to Pierre Bourdieu, a French sociologist, social capital is a resource that is embedded in social relationships and networks. He believed that social capital can be used to gain access to resources and opportunities that would otherwise be unavailable.

Understanding Social Capital Theory Bourdieu

Bourdieu’s theory of social capital focuses on three key elements: social networks, norms, and trust. Social networks are the connections between individuals or groups that allow them to exchange resources and information. Norms refer to the shared expectations and values within a community, while trust refers to the belief that others will act in one’s best interest.

Bourdieu argued that individuals who have access to strong social networks are more likely to succeed than those who do not. This is because they can use their connections to gain access to resources such as job opportunities, information, and financial support. In addition, those with strong networks are more likely to have access to important information about their community which can help them make better decisions.

Applying Social Capital Theory in Practice

The concept of social capital has been applied in various fields such as education, business, politics, and public health. For instance, research has shown that students who have strong relationships with their teachers are more likely to do well academically than those who do not. Similarly, businesses with strong networks are more likely to attract new customers and find new opportunities for growth.

In politics, social capital theory has been used to explain why some communities are more politically engaged than others. Those with strong networks are more likely to participate in activities such as voting or attending community meetings because they feel a sense of obligation towards their community.

Benefits of Social Capital

There are several benefits associated with having strong social capital. Firstly, it can help individuals and communities to achieve their goals. Secondly, social capital can promote social cohesion and reduce social inequality by providing access to resources and opportunities.


In conclusion, social capital theory Bourdieu is an important concept that highlights the significance of social relationships and networks in achieving success. Bourdieu’s theory emphasizes the importance of social networks, norms, and trust in promoting positive outcomes. Understanding this concept can help individuals and communities to achieve their goals and promote social cohesion.