Original Research

Social cohesion and social capital: Possible implications for the common good

Anita Cloete
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 35, No 3 | a1331 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v35i3.1331 | © 2014 Anita Cloete | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 13 February 2014 | Published: 20 August 2014

About the author(s)

Anita Cloete, Department Practical Theology and Missiology, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa

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The main objective of the article is to identify the possible implications of social cohesion and social capital for the common good. In order to reach this overarching aim the following structure will be utilised. The first part explores the conceptual understanding of socialcohesion and social capital in order to establish how these concepts are related and how they could possibly inform each other. The contextual nature of social cohesion and social capital is briefly reflected upon, with specific reference to the South African context. The contribution of religious capital in the formation of social capital is explored in the last section of the article. The article could be viewed as mainly conceptual and explorative in nature in order to draw some conclusions about the common good of social capital and social cohesion.

Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: This article contributes to the interdisciplinary discourse on social cohesion with specific reference to the role of congregations. It provides a critical reflection on the role of congregations with regard to bonding and bridging social capital. The contextual nature of social cohesion is also addressed with specific reference to South Africa.


Social capital. social cohesion, religious social capital


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