Ph.D. student Shawna Bendeck and Dr. Pat Hastings published “Linking Individual and Collective Social Capital: Operationalization, Association, and Sociodemographic Heterogeneity” in Sociological Spectrum.

Despite the ubiquity of “social capital” in sociological research, this measure has broadly been conceptualized as both an individual and collective level measure. We explore the link between these two levels within the United States using recently constructed scales of state- and county-level social capital linked to the geocoded 2000–2018 General Social Survey. Collective social capital is associated with greater individual-level trust and voting. However, heterogeneity analysis reveals substantial differences by race/ethnicity, education, sex, and marital status. Moreover, there is heterogeneity for individual-level confidence in institutions and social interaction frequency, despite no overall relationship between those outcomes and collective social capital. Only some of our results align with existing dimensions of stratification, showing the importance of being clear about the operationalization and level of social capital being studied and highlighting how the “advantages” of collective social capital may not extend broadly to all the members of the collective.