Urban Narratives on the Changing Nature of Social Capital in Post-Communist Romania

Adriana Soaita, Barend Wind

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Drawing on 69 interviews and information from the World Values Surveys, we examine discursive understandings of social capital in Romania. We evidence two dominant explanatory metanarratives on the weakness of social capital ('communism' and 'ethnocentric individualism') and dilemmas regarding generational and urban/rural differences, which our mixed-methods approach helps decode. Contemporary processes of institutionalisation and commodification have further weakened practices of social capital but such processes are socially approved for their potential of breaking with lingering practices of corruption, bribery and favouritism, and of achieving institutional fairness. Convergence with mature democracies is unlikely not because of passive legacies or ill-adapted actors but because people have different aspirations, well suited to the context of post-communist transformation.

Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)712-738
Aantal pagina's27
TijdschriftEurope-Asia Studies
Nummer van het tijdschrift4
Vroegere onlinedatum7-feb-2020
StatusPublished - 20-apr-2020

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