Social Capital in Health Care

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Anthropological scholarship represents a relatively small but important strand within a large, contested multidisciplinary literature on social capital. Biocultural anthropologists have described the role of erosion of social capital in analyses examining causal chains between economic inequality and human biology. Network theorists have used social capital measures to analyze how individuals are connected within their social structures and access a range of socially valuable resources that affect their health. Other researchers have identified health care systems as sites where the interaction of social, cultural, and economic capitals are highly visible. In examining inequalities in access to health care services, these scholars see the unequal distribution of capital as a key mechanism of the social reproduction of power and privilege. While policy discussions referring to social capital have tended to ignore gender, race, class, and power relations, anthropological research has a key role to play in challenging and reframing its conceptual use.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe International Encyclopedia of Anthropology
EditorsHilary Callan
ISBN (Electronic)Online ISBN: 9781118924396|
Publication statusPublished - 5 Sept 2018


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