The Irrelevance of Social Capital in Explaining Deprivation: A Case Study of Turkish Gecekondu Households

Sebnem Eroglu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


This paper seeks to understand what difference social capital makes to deprivation and what factors affect its capacity to deliver benefits. The study develops a clear-cut and empirically workable definition of social capital, and uses social exchange theories to distinguish between its reciprocal and power-based forms. The data is drawn from separate interviews with both partners of 17 households randomly sampled from a gecekondu settlement, participant observation and respondent diaries. Contrary to the dominant view, the research shows that the volume of social capital makes little difference to deprivation largely due to economic constraints. It also demonstrates the limited nature of its contributions to income generation, consumption and investment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-54
Number of pages18
JournalTijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • Social capital
  • reciprocity
  • urban livelihoods
  • poverty
  • mixed methods
  • Gecekondu
  • Turkey

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