Similarity and Regularity: The Secret to Social Capital

We know clearly today, after 50 years of sociological research, that "social capital" or relationships in our life, has been linked to positive variables such as health, happiness, advancement, acheivement, test scores, positive self image, pro-social behaviors, and even longevity.   Any way you cut it, the quantity and quality of your relationships bring deep value to your life.

Further, in the work we are doing at CLASS,, and through the Interdependence Network,, we know that people (families) who experience disabilities, either congenitally, or acquired through accident, illness, or war, are at greater risk of losing social capital.

As we have studied, thought and written about this concept (see Social Capital: The Key to Macro Change, 2014, , we have come to a simple conclusion in how to build more social capital. Know that this simple conclusion is not without its inherent complexity, but simple none the less.

The 2 variables most associated with social capital are, 1. Similarity; the things we have in common with others; and 2. Regularity; how often we find ourselves with others.  Both of these ingredients combine to create the magic that is social capital. 

Of course there is more, but if you just find your (or others) similarity to people, and then find a community that is regular in its exchange related to this similarity, you have the start point for building more social capital.