The Importance of Being Henry

  • Tom Langston


The extensive literature on social capital and its generation and use in communities sheds little light on the ways in which social capital is manifested in community music settings especially at the level of the individual member. Within communities and individuals, social capital is identified through the presence of indicators such as trust, community and civic involvement, and networks. This chapter identifies those indicators of social capital that are present in a particular individual, Henry, in a community choir in regional Tasmania. Narrative analysis of interview and observation data was employed to construct Henry’s individual story of engagement within the choir and community and his participation in the generation and use of social capital. Analysis of these data suggests that social capital indicators identified in the literature, specifically those of shared norms and values, trust, civic and community involvement, networks, knowledge resources, contact with families and friends, and feelings of fellowship, are present in the life and actions of Henry. Henry’s story emphasises the importance of family and upbringing in the creation of a propensity to participate actively in the life of communities and community organisations. From this active participation, social capital is created. Henry’s story holds significance for understanding why individuals participate in community groups and how social capital within groups and groups themselves develop.


Social Capital Civil Society Civic Engagement Australian Bureau Bonding Social Capital 
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 B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tom Langston
    • 1
  1. 1.University of QueenslandAustralia

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