Individual Participation in Collective Action in the Context of a Caribbean Island State: Testing the Effects of Multiple Dimensions of Social Capital

Authors

  • Karl A. Jicha,

    1. Department of Sociology and Anthropology
      North Carolina State University
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    • We would like to acknowledge Robert Moxley, Ronald Wimberley, Edward Kick, Scott Fitzpatrick, R.V. Rikard, and four anonymous reviewers and the editorial staff of Rural Sociology for their valuable comments and suggestions on earlier versions of this article. We also extend our thanks to the residents of the island of Carriacou, Grenada, for their assistance in our research. This research was partially funded by the Department of Sociology and Anthropology and the Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management at North Carolina State University. Please direct correspondence to: Karl A. Jicha, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, North Carolina State University, Box 8107, Raleigh, NC 27695-0001, kajicha@gw.ncsu.edu.

  • Gretchen H. Thompson,

    1. Department of Sociology and Anthropology
      North Carolina State University
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  • Gregory M. Fulkerson,

    1. Department of Sociology
      State University of New York, Oneonta
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  • Jonathan E. May

    1. Department of Psychology, Sociology, and Social Work
      Saint Augustine's College
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Abstract

This article presents the findings of a case study examining the relationship between social capital and individual participation in collective action on a Caribbean island recovering from devastation inflicted by Hurricanes Ivan and Emily. Using data drawn from 114 residential surveys on the island of Carriacou, Grenada, over the summer of 2006, we empirically test social capital as a predictor of individual participation in both formal and informal civic events. In addition, we further the theoretical development of the concept of social capital by independently testing the relationships between its multiple dimensions, specifically social networks; interpersonal trust; and norms of reciprocity. We find that associational membership and age are the two strongest predictors, while interpersonal trust, gender, and marital status are also significant. Our path analysis reveals that there is not a significant direct effect between associational membership and interpersonal trust, suggesting that the two dimensions may have independent, yet complementary, influences. This study sheds light on factors influencing citizen participation in “civic” forms of collective action in a developing region of the world, while demonstrating the multidimensional nature of social capital.

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