For this essay you will evaluate the level of social capital in your community.
To do this, you will need to examine various outlets like social media and local news outlets for specific examples that show how connected your community is. You should search through various feeds like Twitter, Instagram, and even Facebook (even though young folks don’t use Facebook much, older people who run municipalities and organizations still do.) Most towns have a small local newspaper that uses social media but also has a website where you can read stories. You should also check larger newspapers like the Hartford Courant or New Haven Register (you may need an account to read more than just a few stories). Be prepared to scour these sources going all the way back to February or March 2020.
As your search through social media and local news, be on the lookout for examples of elements of social capital like bonding, bridging, and linkages. Be on the lookout for examples of people sharing information and resources, providing assistance or establishing trust. My guess is there will be lots of examples including people making masks, providing food to front line workers, teachers driving by student homes, etc.
If the level of social capital is relatively high, then there will likely be lots of examples of cooperation, selflessness and unity, meaning members of the community will likely be wearing masks, practicing social distancing and staying at home. If the level of social capital is relatively low, then there will likely be examples of tension, selfishness and divisiveness, meaning residents will likely be anti-mask, not staying home and generally advocating for opening the state. This assignment is not meant to be a referendum on either of these viewpoints. Nor is it meant to be a venue for your personal, subjective viewpoints or even conspiracy theories. The purpose of this assignment is solely to assess the level of social capital in your community and therefore try to explain why your community tends to fall into one camp or the other.
Your essay should incorporate the following:
- A reminder of the name of your community.
- A reminder of the demographics of your community (race, median household income, college education, etc.). Also include the results of the last two presidential elections in your community, as this may be relevant for your assessment.
- Several examples of the community in cooperation and unity or in tension and divisiveness.
- Your initial assessment regarding the relative level of social capital in your community. How well does your community share the same values and beliefs? How much solidarity and togetherness do you feel in your community? Have there been tensions in your community regarding the stay at home order? Does the relative level of social capital fit with the results of the presidential election? If so how?
Format and Submitting the Essay
- The essay must be written in Google Docs.
- You will share the document with members of your peer review group.
- You will also need to download the document as a PDF and attach the PDF to the assignment at HuskyCT. If your essay is saved in another format, there’s no guarantee that I’ll be able to open in and therefore you will not receive a grade.
- See the syllabus for the late assignment policy.
- Be sure to save the file using the following naming structure: “Last Name, First Name – Mod02”.
- All papers must be double spaced in 10-12 point font with 1 inch margins on all sides.
- For in-text citations and your bibliography, you should use the Chicago Manual of Style, specifically the Author-Date Style
- Robert Putnam (1993) The Prosperous Community: Social Capital & Public Life, American Prospect 13: 35-42 https://prospect.org/infrastructure/prosperous-com…
- Cornelia Flora & Jan Flora (1996) Creating Social Capital: Becoming Native to the Place. Creating Social Capital: Becoming Native to the Place. – Alternative Formats In Vitek (ed.) Rooted in the Land: Essays on Community & Place. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 217-225.
- the attached file is my last assignment, which is about Chengdu’s background and demographic information
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