The Social Capital of Cohousing Communities

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Abstract

This article aims to discuss the possibility that cohousing communities might combine both civil engagement and governance systems in order to simultaneously generate three forms of social capital: bonding, bridging, and linking social capitals. Cohousing communities intend to create a ‘self-sufficient micro-cosmos’, but struggle against the relationships of ‘anonymous’ neighbourhood. Cohousers build their bonding social capital through the creation of a supportive (formal and informal) network within the community; while at the same time they develop bridging social capital when they try to integrate with the wider context, by organizing activities and making available spaces towards the outside. Finally, when cohousers try to collaborate with external partners (e.g. non-profit organizations and public institutions) they build linking social capital in relation to the ideas, information and advantages obtained through the collaboration with these institutions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)400-415
JournalSociology
Volume50
Issue number2
Early online date28 Apr 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2016
Externally publishedYes

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