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Type: Journal article
Title: Persuading Politicians: Researching the Value of Social Capital in South Australia
Author: Mayer, P.
Wilson, L.
Citation: MIGRACOES Journal of the Portugese Immigration Observatory, 2011; Oct 2011(9):87-101
Publisher: ACIDI
Issue Date: 2011
ISSN: 1646-8104
Statement of
Peter Mayer and Lou Wilson
Abstract: Politicians of both the Left and the Right perceive enhanced levels of social capital as consistent with their core philosophical beliefs. But applied research findings about social capital are received into bureaucratic and political contexts and their fate depends more on those contexts than on scholarly merit. In South Australia two government departments commissioned research on aspects of social capital. The Office for Volunteers sought to quantify the economic value of aspects of volunteering. This chapter spells out the assumptions and methods used to produce the reported values. When the report reached the politicians, its modest findings were increased tenfold to enhance their media impact. The Department of Human Services commissioned an assessment tool that might measure the impact of social capital on social inclusion in northern Adelaide. The study found high levels of bonding social capital in working class areas of northern Adelaide. Subsequent reorganisation of departments and changes in government priorities meant that when the report was presented, the original sponsors had been transferred elsewhere and the report was quietly buried.
Keywords: Social capital; social inclusion; volunteering; public policy
Rights: Copyright status unknown
RMID: 0020116499
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Appears in Collections:Politics publications

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