Urban narratives on the changing nature of social capital in post-communist Romania

Soaita, A. M. and Wind, B. (2020) Urban narratives on the changing nature of social capital in post-communist Romania. Europe-Asia Studies, 72(4), pp. 712-738. (doi: 10.1080/09668136.2020.1718064)

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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.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Soaita, Dr Adriana Mihaela
Authors: Soaita, A. M., and Wind, B.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Urban Studies
Journal Name:Europe-Asia Studies
Publisher:Taylor and Francis
ISSN (Online):1465-3427
Published Online:07 February 2020
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 University of Glasgow
First Published:First published in Europe-Asia Studies 72(4):712-738
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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