Social Capital | LSU Sociology

Social Capital 

Focusing on the connections among people in society, social capital includes social networks, community engagement, civic participation, identity and a sense of belonging. Research on various topics in Social Capital are regularly explored by LSU Sociologists. Extensive research has been conducted on the  between civic engagement and a varietyrelationship of outcomes (e.g., violence, mortality, victimization). Additional research examines community resilience and the importance of community for a  of outcomes (e.g., crime, well-being, mental health, repopulation). Related research investigates the role of social capital (i.e., civic engagement, community cohesion, social support, social networks, community organizations) at impacting recovery from a natural disaster (i.e., Hurricane Katrina), compared to economic and social structural factors. Another stream of research is how new technology spreads in third world countries, specifically examining communication networks, in particular the role of the Internet in Africa and Asian science collaborations, with focus on Kenya (Africa), Ghana (Africa), and Kerala (southwestern India). Social network analysis (SNA) is also used by several LSU Sociologists.  includes the interplay between the self, social networks, and mental health, with a particular focus on how the structure of social ties in concert with the meanings that inhere in social relations can combine to affect one’s self-concept and psychological well-being. Related research has developed Network Text Analysis (NTA), to provide researchers a way to measure cognitive schemas and apply the social-cognitive model. NTA uses social network techniques adapted to words to build a relational network of words to decipher meaning. Patterns of frequent word associations appear and represent meaning or mental schemas.


Civic Engagement

Doucet, J. M., & Lee, M. R. (2014). Civic community theory and rates of violence: A review of literature on an emergent theoretical perspective. International Journal of Rural Criminology, 2(2), 151-165.

Doucet, J. M., & Lee, M. R. (2015). Civic communities and urban violence. Social Science Research, 52, 303-316.

Lee, M. R. (2008). Civic community in the hinterland: Toward a theory of rural social structure and violence. Criminology, 46(2), 447-478.

Lee, M. R. (2000). Community cohesion and violent predatory victimization: A theoretical extension and cross-national test of opportunity theory. Social Forces, 79(2), 683-706.

Lee, M. R. (2010). The protective effects of civic communities against all-cause mortality. Social Science & Medicine, 70(11), 1840-1846.

Lee, M. R., & Bartkowski, J. P. (2004). Civic participation, regional subcultures, and violence: The differential effects of secular and religious participation on adult and juvenile homicide. Homicide Studies, 8(1), 5-39.

Lee, M. R., & Bartkowski, J. P. (2004). Love thy neighbor? Moral communities, civic engagement, and juvenile homicide in rural areas. Social Forces, 82(3), 1001-1035.

Lee, M. R., & Earnest, T. L. (2003). Perceived community cohesion and perceived risk of victimization: A cross-national analysis. Justice Quarterly, 20(1), 131-157.

Lee, M. R., & Thomas, S. A. (2010). Civic community, population change, and violent crime in rural communities. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, 47(1), 118-147.

Ousey, G. C., & Lee, M. R. (2010). Whose civic community? Testing alternative hypotheses of the relationship between civic community and racial inequality in arrest rates. Sociological Spectrum, 30(5), 550-579.

Community Attachment

Cope, M. R., Slack, T., Blanchard, T. C., & Lee, M. R. (2013). Does time heal all wounds? Community attachment, natural resource employment, and health impacts in the wake of the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster. Social Science Research, 42(3), 872-881.

Lee, M. R., & Blanchard, T. C. (2012). Community attachment and negative affective states in the context of the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster. American Behavioral Scientist, 56(1), 24-47.

Lee, M. R., Weil, F. D., & Shihadeh, E. S. (2007). The FEMA trailer parks: Negative perceptions and the social structure of avoidance. Sociological Spectrum, 27(6), 741-766.

Patterson, O., Weil, F., & Patel, K. (2010). The role of community in disaster response: conceptual models. Population Research and Policy Review, 29(2), 127-141.

Weil, F. (2011). Rise of community organizations, citizen engagement, and new institutions. In Resilience and opportunity: Lessons from the US Gulf Coast after Katrina and Rita (pp. 201-219). Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press.

Social Capital

Barton, M. S., Weil, F., Jackson, M., & Hickey, D. A. (2017). An investigation of the influence of the spatial distribution of neighborhood violent crime on fear of crime. Crime & Delinquency, 63(13), 1757-1776.

Valasik, M. & Barton, M. S. (2018). The George Wilson Effect: Does Intergenerational Closure and Collective Efficacy Reduce Juvenile Delinquency in a Neighborhood? Deviant Behavior, 39(12), 1658-1671.

Weil, F., Lee, M. R., & Shihadeh, E. S. (2012). The burdens of social capital: How socially-involved people dealt with stress after Hurricane Katrina. Social Science Research, 41(1), 110-119.

Weil, F. D., Rackin, H. M., & Maddox, D. (2018). Collective resources in the repopulation of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Natural Hazards, 1-26.

Social Identity

Walker, M. H. (2015). The Contingent Value of Embeddedness: Self-Affirming Social Environments, Network Density, and Well-Being. Society and Mental Health, 5(2), 128-144.

Walker, M. H., & Lynn, F. B. (2013). The embedded self: A social networks approach to identity theory. Social Psychology Quarterly, 76(2), 151-179.

Social Networks

Chompalov, I., Genuth, J., & Shrum, W. (2002). The organization of scientific collaborations. Research Policy, 31(5), 749-767.

Cope, M. R., Lee, M. R., Slack, T., Blanchard, T. C., Carney, J., Lipschitz, F., & Gikas, L. (2018). Geographically distant social networks elevate perceived preparedness for coastal environmental threats. Population and Environment, 39(3), 277-296.

Garretson, O., Fan, J., Mbatia, P. N., Miller, P., & Shrum, W. (2018). When Family Replaced Friendship: Mobile Communication and Network Change in Kenya. Sociological Forum.

Palackal, A., Nyaga Mbatia, P., Dzorgbo, D. B., Duque, R. B., Ynalvez, M. A., & Shrum, W. M. (2011). Are mobile phones changing social networks? A longitudinal study of core networks in Kerala. New Media & Society, 13(3), 391-410.

Shrum, W., & Mullins, N. (1988). Network analysis in the study of science and technology. In Handbook of Quantitative Studies of Science and Technology (pp. 107-133).

Shrum, W., Palackal, A., Dzorgbo, D. B. S., Mbatia, P., Schafer, M., Miller, P., & Rackin, H. (2016). Network Decline in the Internet Era: Evidence from Ghana, Kenya, and India, 1994-2010. International Review of Social Research, 6(4), 163-171.

Ynalvez, M. A., & Shrum, W. M. (2011). Professional networks, scientific collaboration, and publication productivity in resource-constrained research institutions in a developing country. Research Policy, 40(2), 204-216.

Ynalvez, M. A., & Shrum, W. (2008). International graduate training, digital inequality and professional network structure: An ego-centric social network analysis of knowledge producers at the “Global South”. Scientometrics, 76(2), 343-368.

Social Ties

Shrum, W., Cheek Jr, N. H., & MacD, S. (1988). Friendship in school: Gender and racial homophily. Sociology of Education, 227-239.

Shrum, W., Mbatia, P. N., Palackal, A., Dzorgbo, D. B. S., Duque, R. B., & Ynalvez, M. A. (2011). Mobile phones and core network growth in Kenya: Strengthening weak ties. Social Science Research, 40(2), 614-625. 


Michael S. Barton, Associate Professor
Matthew R. Lee, Professor
Heather M. Rackin, Associate Professor
Wesley M. Shrum, Jr., Professor
Kevin T. Smiley, Assistant Professor
Matthew Valasik, Associate Professor
Mark H. Walker, Assistant Professor
Frederick Weil, Associate Professor