Open Access Freier Zugang (Open Access)  Eingeschränkter Zugriff Zugang für Abonnent*innen oder durch Zahlung einer Gebühr

Nützlichkeits-Fetischismus: "Sozialkapital" und die Ökonomisierung des Sozialen

Erhard Berner

Volltext: PDF



The concept of social capital, developed by sociologists and political scientists and incorporated by some branches of economic theory, has received broad and enthusiastic acceptance by development scholars and practitioners. However, it is severely criticised on at least four counts: as a misnomer of the worst kind; as an undertheorised, essentially empty umbrella term; as being used in tactical disciplinary games rather than enabling insight; and as an instrument of economising the social in line with the neoliberal paradigm. The paper corroborates the theoretical weakness and empirical infertility of the term, not remedied by the various attempts to „save“ it. It is suggested to revisit the rich heritage of interdisciplinary social theory and research instead, including prominently (new) economic sociology and (new) institutional economics.