In this study, the authors explored the relevance of social capital and strategies to build it for community development in a deprived community, Tin Shui Wai North (TSWN), in Hong Kong. The findings from focus-group interviews with social workers who were involved in eleven community development projects in TSWN revealed that social workers have taken social capital as a significant resource to be developed. The central focus of the projects, however, has been on bonding social capital targeting to meet the tangible needs of the community. The development of bridging social capital was limited by intensive community conflicts across racial groups, and project staff showed less awareness of the significance of linking social capital. The study also indicated that the conceptions of social capital upheld by participating social workers were mainly of a consensual approach, and the civic orientation was rather limited. Diverse strategies have been employed for building social capital in the community while serving different target groups. Social workers, however, have not been sensitive to the possible repressive dimensions of social capital, nor have thoroughly examined the concept of social capital when they applied it. The sustainability of social capital which has rarely been discussed in published studies remained the core and persistent concern. Based on the findings, the authors draw implications on developing sustaining social capital for community development.
Scopus Subject Areas