At the nexus of social capital and postmaterialist values
Damron, Regan Wayne
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The concepts of social capital and postmaterialist values both have long and respectable genealogies in the social sciences. They are often seen to covary in particular ways, but these relationships are generally considered spurious, attributable to various intervening or antecedent variables. This paper seeks to specify an independent and direct causal relationship between generalized trust (“bridging” social capital) and postmaterialism on the one hand, and particularized trust (“bonding” social capital) and materialism on the other. In order to test these claims and properly control for rival hypotheses, a hierarchical generalized linear model is employed using data from the fourth wave of the World Values Survey (released May 2004). The data provide strong support for the first posited relationship; the second does not fare as well. In light of these results, opportunities for future research are enumerated and discussed.