Mapping social capital across Wales (UK) using secondary data and spatial analysis

SN Soc Sci. 2023;3(3):56. doi: 10.1007/s43545-023-00639-1. Epub 2023 Mar 6.


Social capital, a powerful community resource based on trust, relationships, norms, culture, values, networks and belonging, could shape the acceptance, cooperation, and involvement of citizens towards new policies or interventions. In past, connections of social capital have been studied in relation to human health, wellbeing, social and economic development. More recently, social capital has been studied with respect to human resilience and adaptation to climate change. We argue that social capital could also play a vital role in our efforts to reduce carbon footprint through behaviour change, a shift on shared local renewable energy resources, and adoption of low carbon technologies. In Wales (UK) there is no national scale dataset, reflecting its social capital landscape, that could be used for designing the right policies/interventions in this context, based on an expected level of trust, cooperation, and support within the communities. This paper is an effort to fill this data gap using secondary datasets. Firstly, a literature review is carried out to identify the indicators of social capital (cognitive and participatory). Secondary datasets have then been identified and acquired. Geospatial analysis has been carried out to produce the criterion maps for various indicators of social capital. Finally, Analytical Hierarchy Process is applied to generate a social capital map of Wales combining these indicators together. For validation of the produced data, social capital’s known correlations were tested with crime rates, income level and multiple deprivations.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s43545-023-00639-1.

PMID:36908486 | PMC:PMC9987399 | DOI:10.1007/s43545-023-00639-1


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