The contemporary political scientists have concerns over the decline of social capital. An idea based on the decline is because, initially in the first half of the nineteenth century, Americans defined social capital and gave it an outline. The Americans at this stage could meet and gather for the sake of discussing issues that are affecting the state in terms of economical state of America and the rest of the world. During this period, there were high levels of transparency and thus, participations from all walks of life that promoted democracy in America. There were equal opportunities for most of the conditions set for the American citizens. This paper explores the meaning of social capital, its importance, the potential consequences of the low level of social capital in American society, television impacts on social capital and then relationship between democracy and social capital (Dasgupta & International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, 2000).
Social capital defined
The term ‘social capital’ refers to the relationships, institutions and the norms that are responsible for shaping the quantity and the quality of the social interactions present in society. Social capital is responsible for economic prosperity and sustainable development (Dasgupta & International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, 2000).
Social capital is deemed to be an essential factor in society due to the benefits that emanate from this form of system. It is through social capital that a society is held together for proper functioning. It facilitates cooperation and coordination in the society. Through social capital, increased productivity can be evident through reduced rates of business costs. Through social capital, a group of individuals can make the best out of the resources provided by the government for the purpose of social responsibility. The rule of law, political liberties and regime is more effective under social capital system (Bartkus & Davis, 2009).
As a result of low levels of social capital for the American society, there is a tendency of democracy not to be considered key factor. The rate of corruption is currently on the rise especially in work places whereby, you have to know someone in order to access a certain job or to be given a tender. This is evident in the big companies like Enron whereby, due to low levels of social capital, no much interaction in societies and sustainable measures put in place; it is only the mighty and the powerful in the company that flourishes and gets contracts with the company (Bartkus & Davis, 2009).
It is also possible that the productivity and well-being of the American society are made less effective due to low productivity through increased costs of business. For example, the establishing business costs for the blue berry phone company was a challenge in most of the states due to increased costs due to lack of social capital. The isolated groups in the community are bound to hinder social and economic development in the absence of social capital (Bartkus & Davis, 2009).
Yes, the television networks impact social capital. Instead of the initial gathering that was physical, it is currently possible that a television networks enable social interactions sites whereby individuals are able to get access to some key issues that may be affecting the society and discuss such issues to get a solution. The social interaction sites include facebook, twitter and Google message. The CNN news center has made the use of social Medias to pass messages or even open a forum on the core issues that may be affecting the lives of Americans and the rest of the world. For example, CNN is responsible for getting feedbacks on how to tackle terrorism in the state and the reasons why there is high rates of insecurity in poverty stricken areas or regions with low income opportunities in southern America (Grootaert, 2003).
For America to be seen as a well functioning state, it is vital to incorporate social capital for democracy that is deemed to be feasible in nature. Democracy can only work in America with high levels of social capital. The main reason as to why democracy and social capital are linked positively is due to the reason that social capital allows for transparency and transparency is the key to having a democratic nation. The democracy level especially in big institutions like universities and established companies like Coca Cola for the employees is currently under low levels of transparency (Bartkus & Davis, 2009).
There are no gatherings that allow individuals in airing their views based on the issues that may be affecting the current generation. The level of social participation has reduced in most of the American functions, and this has greatly impacted negatively in the development of democracy amongst the community members. Therefore, for democracy to work effectively social capital should be incorporated into the system of all the companies and institutions that are meant to ensure economic and social stability (Grootaert, 2003).
It is thus evident that, social capital has declined in the American state. The decline has impacted negatively to the individuals especially that had not gained much access to the opportunities that should have been utilized for economic development. However, television can use social sites in order to bring back the effect of gatherings and participation due to innovation and digital enhancement present in the contemporary world.
Dasgupta, P., Serageldin, I., & International Bank for Reconstruction and Development. (2000). Social capital: A multifaceted perspective. Washington, DC: World Bank.
Bartkus, V. O., & Davis, J. H. (2009). Social capital: Reaching out, reaching in. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar.
Grootaert, C. (2003). The role of social capital in development: An empirical assessment. Cambridge [u.a.: Cambridge Univ. Press.