Language as social capital

Clark, Tom (2006) Language as social capital. Applied Semiotics = Semiotique Appliquee, 8 (18). pp. 29-41. ISSN 1204-6140


This article considers the proposition that language may be regarded as a mode, a form, a concrete reality of relations between people. In doing so, it addresses an ontological problem in the definition and theory of social capital. Whereas numerous commentators have addressed questions of the aetiology, cultivation, distribution, and effects of social capital, there is as yet no satisfactory explanation of what it is as such. If there is a substantial phenomenon called social capital, then one of its manifest forms is language. The main proof is that language descriptively conforms to the defining characteristics of social capital, which this article lists and discusses in detail.

Item type Article
Official URL
Subjects Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Communication and the Arts
Historical > RFCD Classification > 420000 Language and Culture
Keywords ResPubID10448. language, sociolinguistics, social capital, cultural capital
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