Identifier

etd-07132015-092244

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Social Work

Document Type

Dissertation

Abstract

Concentrated poverty in inner-city neighborhoods in the United States generates social disorganization and isolation, limiting residents’ access to opportunities for upward mobility. Place-based concentration effects can be detrimental to individual health outcomes and overall community health. Communities require assets and resources across multiple types of capital, and in particular social capital, in order to foster a thriving civic economy. The purpose of this research was to provide a foundation through the study of social capital for pursuing strategic actions to foster a thriving civic economy for residents in a low-wealth neighborhood in Shreveport, Louisiana, that was also the focus of a Choice Neighborhoods planning initiative. A community-engaged research approach was used to examine relationships between neighborhood revitalization planning, resident engagement, social capital, collaboration and openness to transformation in this mixed-methods study. This examination included cognitive and structured social capital constructs on the following five dimensions: trust, reciprocal relationships, social cohesion, social ties and civic engagement. Results of this research suggest empowerment, collaboration and civic engagement are critical building blocks for trust, social capital and community transformation. Additionally, relative social class effects in low wealth communities may exist, whereas people with the fewest resources may be more likely to experience a sense of institutional disengagement and a higher degree of powerlessness, which should be further examined. Further, it is recommended that policymakers and practitioners continue to improve processes to develop social capital and build trust, foster collaborative conditions, and invest in strategies to facilitate meaningful resident engagement in community change efforts in order to build healthy communities.

Date

2015

Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Page, Timothy

Included in

Social Work Commons

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