Language as social capital

Posted on abril 28, 2008. Filed under: capital social, Linguagem |

Language as social capital
Thomas Clark
Victoria University (Melbourne)

Abstract
This article considers the proposition that language may be regarded as a mode, a form, a palpable reality of relations between people. It therefore raises an ontological problem in the definition and theory of social capital. Whereas numerous commentators have addressed questions of the aetiology, cultivation, distribution, and effects of social capital, there is as yet no satisfactory explanation of what it is as such. If there is a substantial phenomenon called social capital, then one of its manifest forms is language. The main proof is that language descriptively conforms to the defining characteristics of social capital, which this article addresses in detail.

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