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Understanding social inclusion, social cohesion, and social capital

  • Robert Oxoby

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to delineate the concepts of social inclusion, social cohesion, and social capital. Design/methodology/approach – This paper reviews the existing literature and uses the ideas of Amartya Sen to develop a research and policy approach to these concepts. Findings – Specifically, the paper uses Sen's concepts of commodities and capabilities to develop a framework for understanding the related concepts of social capital, social cohesion, and inclusion. Research limitations/implications – While the approach is largely theoretical, the paper bases the analysis on existing empirical research on the social motivations of behavior and the importance on social inclusion in institutional design. Practical implications – Practically, it is hoped that the framework provides a platform for empirical research on social inclusion and cohesion, two concepts that have largely been ignored in the research on social capital. Originality/value – As such, this paper can serve as a guide to empirical researchers and policy makers interested in issues of poverty, unemployment, and social exclusion.

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Article provided by Emerald Group Publishing in its journal International Journal of Social Economics.

Volume (Year): 36 (2009)
Issue (Month): 12 (October)
Pages: 1133-1152

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Handle: RePEc:eme:ijsepp:v:36:y:2009:i:12:p:1133-1152
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