Theses Doctoral

Social Capital as a Determinant of School Participation in Rural India: A Mixed Methods Study

Iyengar, Radhika

Social capital is a resource that provides access to other resources in the community. If social capital can be harnessed locally in communities, it will have the potential to enhance community development. This mixed methods study uses econometric models and Hierarchical Linear Modeling approaches in the quantitative section, along with case study in the qualitative tradition. The study investigates the forms of social capital and its association with school participation. While the quantitative sections use nationally representative survey data, the qualitative data collection is based in one of India's most marginalized districts, Jhabua (with an overall literacy rate of 37 percent), and attempts to observe how social capital plays out in this district in rural India which is dominated by "tribal" or indigenous populations. This study is also an empirical validation of the components of social capital as described in the literature. The quantitative sections find a small but significant association between specific components of social capital and school participation indicators. Social capital in turn is mainly explained by household income, adult literacy and caste and religious affiliations of the household. The qualitative section highlights the disconnectedness between social capital and education in reality. It also showcases some of the negative aspects of social capital in the communities.



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More About This Work

Academic Units
Economics and Education
Thesis Advisors
Levin, Henry M.
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
May 16, 2011