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A dark divide: The unequal distribution of social capital in the UK


In the 2001 British Social Attitudes survey, social researchers Michael Johnson and Roger Jowell reported that people with social capital (that is, here, 'stronger links to voluntary organisations') tend to be more trusting of others, less estranged from government, more willing to fight perceived injustice and more likely to help their fellow citizens (Johnston and Jowell, 2001 ). If we assume that there is some correlation between political trust and 'social trust', then it is likely that those with a higher level of social trust will feel confident about their political influence and will participate; and here the data show that social trust is closely correlated with membership of organisations and with men rather than women, white people rather than other racial groups, and the professional and managerial classes rather than manual workers (Johnston and Jowell, 2001).

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