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Social Capital, Social Identities by Hans Bernhard Schmid, Christoph Henning, Dieter Thomä

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Hans Bernhard Schmid

Social Capital and Self-Alienation

An Augustinian Look at the Dark Heart of Community

It is useful to have friends, but if the fact that they are useful is the reason why you have them, you’re actually a social moron and don’t have any real friends at all. Basic as this may seem, it is a bit of a problem for social capital theory which is predicated on the assumption that social relations are useful for the purposes of those engaged in those relations, and should be interpreted as such. It is true that using one’s social relations does not necessarily mean selling one’s own grandmother, or cashing in on one’s acquaintances (in that way, “the social” would be used as a good or a resource rather than as capital). Rather, ...

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