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Health inequalities and welfare resourcesContinuity and change in Sweden$
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Johan Fritzell and Olle Lundberg

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9781861347589

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781861347589.001.0001

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Social capital and health in the Swedish welfare state

Social capital and health in the Swedish welfare state

Eight Social capital and health in the Swedish welfare state
Health inequalities and welfare resources

Mikael Rostila

Policy Press

This chapter deals with the mysterious and obscure concept of ‘social capital’. It discusses how this popular, but somewhat mysterious concept has been understood in the research literature. It demonstrates how the distribution of the preconditions for social capital, such as informal and formal social contacts, differ between various groups in Sweden and how this, in turn, influences health. It notes that welfare state institutions have been seen as important for the emergence of social capital and for the development of trust and solidarity in society. It also discusses the role of the welfare state in maintaining, creating, or perhaps even destroying the preconditions for social capital in a society.

Keywords:   social capital, social contacts, Sweden, health, welfare state, society

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