Triads of capital: Civic organization in rural Denmark1800-1900

Publikation: Working paperForskning


Within current research on social capital, a gap exists between political history analyses at the macro level and classical, sociological analyses at the meso and micro levels. Following up on  earlier work, the main purpose of this paper is to mediate between the two conflicting stances represented by Putnam and Portes. The paper raises the following question: Is it possible to detect the historical driving forces behind the building of both beneficial and harmful social capital? Driving forces are defined as structural determinants, which change human organization at all levels. The hypothesis is that three forms of capital have the potential to act as driving forces: social capital, cultural capital and physical capital, the latter operationaliz­ed as buildings. A new concept, triad of capital, is introduced to analyze the interrelationship between these three forms of capital. A triad of capital means a coherent stock of capital, including social, cultural and physical capital, which belongs to a local community. The case of civic organization in rural Denmark 1800-1900 shows how the three capitals successively acted as driving forces: physical capital about year 1800, social capital about year 1880, and cultural capital about year 1900. In each case, one form of capital changed the two others in a chain reaction process, which ultimately led to a major reorganization of the triads of capital in the local rural communities.
UdgiverInternational Rural Sociology Association (IRSA)
StatusUdgivet - 2000



Svendsen, G. L. H. (2000). Triads of capital: Civic organization in rural Denmark1800-1900. International Rural Sociology Association (IRSA).