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The Social Capital Formation among the Bengali-speaking Muslims in three Indian border states

SHAHID, RUDABEH (2019) The Social Capital Formation among the Bengali-speaking Muslims in three Indian border states. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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In this study, I examine the factors forming social capital among Bengali-speaking Muslims living in the three Indian border states—Assam, West Bengal and Tripura. Social capital theory has been used for understanding the lack of integration and development among ethnic minorities. However, the question of what creates social capital among ethnic minority groups in the first place is understudied, especially in the South Asian context. By applying the individual-level network theory of social capital formation in the South Asian context, this study makes a significant empirical contribution to both the literatures of social capital and Islam in South Asia. According to the network theorists, social capital are intangible resources embedded in an individual’s social networks at a given point in time which can be accessed or mobilized through pre-existing ties in those networks. I argue that “network closure”, which increases the depth of ties in a given linguistic and/or religious network, leads to the formation of bonding social capital. On the other hand, filling “structural holes” across networks by transmitting the flow of information across linguistic and/or religious group network results in bridging social capital. My argument highlights individual-level personal characteristics and location-specific factors that are expected to affect the processes of network closure and filling of structural holes. I use a parallel mixed method study design, where both quantitative survey and qualitative interview data were collected concurrently. The quantitative component is the core component, while the qualitative part is supplemental. I find that factors leading to the formation of bonding social capital are state-specific, while the factors leading to the formation of bridging social capital are more common across states.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:social capital; Bengali Muslims; Assam; West Bengal; Tripura; Indian Muslims; Islam in South Asia
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Government and International Affairs, School of
Thesis Date:2019
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:21 May 2019 14:33

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