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Social capital in the field of power: the case of Norway

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Abstract

This paper analyses social capital structures in the field of power, based on data from the Norwegian Power and Democracy Survey on elites. Separating between objectified, institutionalised, embodied, and inherited social capital, and inspired by Bourdieu's approach, we analyse the relations between social capital and the other forms of capital by way of specific multiple correspondence analysis and ascending hierarchical cluster analysis. First, we find that the level of institutionalised social capital varies from one fraction of the Norwegian elite to another. Secondly, the range of networks established through previous work experiences is related to field seniority. Thirdly, the positions of highest endogamy are situated in the religious field, and to a lesser extent, in the scientific field, and in the juridical field. Finally, the ‘core of the core’ is defined by actors who are strongly interconnected inside what is called ‘the tripartite system’, with a high level of multipositionality and intersectorial connections.

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