Social Capital and Health

  • Ichiro Kawachi
  • S.V. Subramanian
  • Daniel Kim

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages I-X
  2. Social Capital and Health

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Ichiro Kawachi, S.V. Subramanian, Daniel Kim
      Pages 1-26
  3. Measurement of Social Capital

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 27-27
    2. Martin Van Der Gaag, Martin Webber
      Pages 29-49
    3. Cynthia M. Lakon, Dionne C. Godette, John R. Hipp
      Pages 63-81
    4. Rob Whitley
      Pages 95-115
    5. Lisa R. Anderson, Jennifer M. Mellor
      Pages 117-136
  4. Empirical Evidence

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 137-137
    2. Daniel Kim, S.V. Subramanian, Ichiro Kawachi
      Pages 139-190
    3. Astier M. Almedom, Douglas Glandon
      Pages 191-214
    4. Martin Lindström
      Pages 215-238
    5. Kathleen A. Cagney, Ming Wen
      Pages 239-258
    6. K. Viswanath
      Pages 259-271
    7. Howard K. Koh, Rebecca O. Cadigan
      Pages 273-285
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 287-291

About this book


As interest in social capital has grown over the past decade—particularly in public health —so has the lack of consensus on exactly what it is and what makes it worth studying. Social Capital and Health presents the state of the debate, from definition to conceptualization, from effective measurement to real-world applications. The 21 contributors (headed by Ichiro Kawachi, a widely respected leader in the field, and including physicians, economists, and public health experts) discuss the potentials and pitfalls in current research, and salient examples of social capital concepts informing public health practice.

The book’s first section traces the theoretical origins of social capital, and the strengths and limitations of current methodologies of measuring it. The second half surveys the empirical data on social capital in key health areas. Among the highlights:

  • Toward a definition: Individual or group entity? Negative as well as positive effects?
  • Measurement methods: survey, sociometric, ethnographic, experimental
  • The relationship between social capital and physical health and health behaviors: smoking, substance abuse, physical activity, sexual activity
  • Social capital and mental health: early findings
  • Social capital and the aging community
  • Applying social capital to health communications
  • Social capital and disaster preparedness

Social Capital and Health is certain to inspire researchers and advanced students in public health, health behavior, and social epidemiology. The collective insight found in these diverse perspectives should inspire a new generation of research on this topic, and lead to the development of interventions to improve public health.


Behavior Disaster Preparedness Economics Ethnography Health Communication Human Development Public Health communication

Editors and affiliations

  • Ichiro Kawachi
    • 1
  • S.V. Subramanian
    • 1
  • Daniel Kim
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Society, Human Development and HealthHarvard School of Public HealthBostonUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer New York 2008
  • Publisher Name Springer, New York, NY
  • eBook Packages Medicine
  • Print ISBN 978-0-387-71310-6
  • Online ISBN 978-0-387-71311-3
  • Buy this book on publisher's site