Social Capital: The Importance of Building Bridges
Recently, I discovered something called “Social Capital”. There are many articles and considerable research about it, and as I learned more, it intrigued me. Some of those who study Social Capital have presented two sub-types called social-bonds and social-bridges. It basically breaks down like this; social bonds are those relationships that exist between people within the same culture, whereas social bridges are relationships that exist across cultures, religions or ethnicity.
For example, people often have a social network of friends and families that are of the same ethnic background. Think of large cities where you have areas such as “Chinatown”, “Little Italy” or “Greektown”. Individuals bond with each other on a personal level and there is very little or no time required understanding their friends’ traditions, cultures or religious beliefs. On the other hand, social bridges exist when people of different backgrounds intermingle and develop relationships with those who are unlike themselves. When people of dissimilar upbringings start to interact, they inevitably learn about each others’ traditions, as well as religious and social activities. They learn about their food, their music, their clothing and their overall way of life. Researchers who study Social Capital suggest that societies require a balance of both social bonds AND social bridges. They also point out that where more social bridges exist, the level of trust between people and cultures is higher. This creates a more inclusive and accepting society, a society where ideas can be shared across cultures and people are able to learn from one another. It is further argued that the more trusting we are of each other, the more democratic we become as a society, translating into stronger societal, political and economic growth. This brings me to the reason I am writing this in the first place……..YOU Cheekbone Beauty allies!
Let's build beautiful bridges together!
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