Saturday, August 4, 2012

A Definition of Societal Capital

As I originally discussed here, when I discovered my usage of the term social capital was incorrect, I decided to try an coin a new term to better describe my intended meaning.

Societal Capital (n): the stock of resources a society provides a developing human so as to further their development of human capital, either through physical, cognitive or emotional nourishment, as well as bodily safety.  

Beginning in utero, and continuing through adolescence and adulthood, negative as well as positive factors can serve to promote or inhibit human capital growth, and societal capital represents the net of this developmental leverage.  Societal capital can be highly direct, such as specific vitamins and minerals that stimulate tissue development, or the presence of cognitively stimulating language and activities in the home.  It can also be more indirect and abstract, such as social services, access to libraries, neighborhood safety, or employment opportunities.

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