Mapping Your Social Capital

Activity Description:

Rosalind Edwards


To explore your own social capital


  1. Read the Social Capital entry in the WFRN Encylopedia.
  2. Fill in the network map (click on the document, “Network_Map.pdf” at the end of this entry to view and download map in PDF format). In the allocated segments of the map, write the names of people with whom you are in regular contact: your family, close friends, people you know from any membership of social interest groups or clubs, people you know from work and/or education, and any other significant people in your life.
  3. Fill in the network table (click on the document at the end of this entry to view and download table in PDF format). List the names of the people on your network map and then tick the social category boxes next to their names. You can add more social categories if you want to, for example religion or education level.
  4. What do you notice about your social capital? Is it more bonding (people like you) or bridging (people unlike you)? Is it situated more in particular areas of your life and less in others?
  5. If you can, ask your parents or grandparents to undertake the mapping exercises. Is your social capital different from theirs and, if so, in what ways?
  6. What do the different theoretical perspectives outlined in the encyclopedia entry tell you about your social capital? Does it reflect continuing social and economic inequalities in society? Does it reflect a breakdown of family and community relationships? Does it reflect new forms of social capital that are developing in contemporary society?

Activity Source:

Content contributed by Rosalind Edwards as a Suggested Work and Family Class Activity

Activity Links to Materials:


Network_Map Network_Table