Is increased access to social capital associated with a lower likelihood of poverty? Using data from a survey of nearly 10,000 residents of Iowa taken in 1994 and again in 2004, this study seeks to understand what types of social capital are associated with higher or lower likelihood of poverty at both the community and individual levels. Results suggest that higher bonding social capital at both levels is associated with a higher likelihood of poverty. The inverse of this relationship is found between bridging social capital and poverty. Although high bonding is generally an asset, when combined with low levels of bridging social capital, it is associated with significantly higher rural poverty rates in 1994 and 2004— exceeding the statewide average poverty rate of 15%. It is not clear, however, if high levels of bonding social capital cause high poverty rates by creating more insular networks in the context of low social bridging or if high bonding and low bridging are the direct result of high rural poverty.
College and Department
Family, Home, and Social Sciences; Sociology
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Currit, Brady A., "The Paradox of Social Capital and the Rural Poor's Relationship with Their Communities" (2013). All Theses and Dissertations. 4164.
poverty, social capital, bridging social capital, bonding social capital, rural community