Social Indicators Research

, Volume 75, Issue 2, pp 273–302 | Cite as

Reconsidering Social Cohesion: Developing a Definition and Analytical Framework for Empirical Research

  • Joseph ChanEmail author
  • Ho-Pong To
  • Elaine Chan


Despite its growing currency in academic and policy circles, social cohesion is a term in need of a clearer and more rigorous definition. This article provides a critical review of the ways social cohesion has been conceptualized in the literature in many cases, definitions are too loosely made, with a common confusion between the content and the causes or effects of social cohesion. This motivates us to propose a refined definition that we hope is clearer and more rigorous. We will show how our definition could be operationalized into a measurement scheme that facilitates empirical work on social cohesion.


definition measurement operationalization social cohesion 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Politics and Public AdministrationThe University of Hong KongPokfulamHong Kong

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