Communities as “Big Small Groups”: Culture and Social Capital

  • Michael Reisch
  • Dana Guyet
Part of the Handbooks of Sociology and Social Research book series (HSSR)


Since the early days of the American republic, social and political observers have analyzed the role of local associations in promoting civic participation, strengthening democracy, and developing countervailing structures to those of the state. Their commentaries emphasized the importance of group solidarity, voluntarism, and reciprocity in the preservation of republican virtues. During the late nineteenth and much of the twentieth centuries, these perspectives played a prominent role in defining the patterns and parameters of social policies designed to assimilate an increasingly diverse U.S. population. Conversely, they also enabled minorities to resist the forces of institutional oppression in their communities.


Social Capital Social Identity Community Development Civic Engagement Group Solidarity 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Reisch
    • 1
  • Dana Guyet
    • 1
  1. 1.University of MichiganMichigan

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