The Cultivation of Social Capital in Community Governance

Social Sciences in China (Chinese Edition)

No.7, 2019


The Cultivation of Social Capital in Community Governance



Fang Yaqin and Xia Jianzhong


The multi-player community governance structure is an approach to the building of a structure of jointly constructed, jointly governed and jointly shared. The key to it lies in residents’ participation in community public affairs. But current urban community governance faces the dilemma of “weak participation.” Community social capital provides an integrated and inclusive solution to this problem. Through an in-depth study of the paths of social capital formation in M Community of H City and S Community of J City, we observed that the way to cultivate social capital is to find out residents’ specific needs in community intercourse and create the corresponding structural conditions, so that the community becomes a continuous interactive system. In the new social structural conditions, residents’ psychological need to belong to a community, to help each other to satisfy the shared needs of daily life and to cooperate to safeguard their common interests provide endogenous motivation for the formation of community social capital, while people-oriented community space, well developed community-level social organizations and a sound community governance structure are the structural conditions required for community interaction to be transformed into actual interactions. In the course of social capital formation in communities of strangers, the appropriate involvement of the state and the government plays the role of “procedural guidance.”