Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
I explore the relationship between family changes and social capital in American society. Since the mid-20th century, new types of and additions to the family structure have emerged, including cohabitation family, single-parent family, employed women, and NEETs (Not in Education, Employment, and Training). Although new types of families symbolize a more flexible definition of family, some problems have emerged which are worthy of studying. In fact, these families have recently become a primary focus of study in academia, but their social lives are rarely mentioned. I argue in my dissertation that these new types of arrangements not only changed how we define family, but also brought about changes in how we are involved in society. Members of these new types of families have difficulty accumulating social capital due to some unique conditions which stem from these family types. The unstable relationship between cohabitating couples, the scarcity of family resources in single-parent families, the heavy burdens for employed wives, and the indifferent attitudes among non-employed young people may explain why they have less social capital. The results indicated a complicated relationship between family changes and social capital. In general, family changes negatively affected social capital acquisition to some degree. However, different family changes may make different impacts on social capital. It is my hope that my research will encourage social scientists to seriously (re)examine the social life of people involved in these new types of families.
Document Availability at the Time of Submission
Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.
Lin, Ya-Feng, "Are We Really Bowling Alone? Family Changes and Social Capital in American Society" (2016). LSU Doctoral Dissertations. 1907.