Communication context, social cohesion and social capital building among hispanic immigrant families

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29 Scopus citations


Attention has been turned recently to the role that social capital may play in the promotion of immigration integration and social cohesion. The paper addresses an aspect of social capital that has been neglected: the application of social capital and its related concepts to minority ethnic families in impoverished neighbourhoods. This paper discusses the ways in which contextual elements in a neighbourhood may facilitate or impair the building of social capital for minority ethnic immigrant families. Research from focus group interviews conducted among Hispanic families in predominantly Hispanic neighbourhoods in Los Angeles show how residents face multiple challenges in social capital building due to physical, psychological, socio-cultural and economic constraints on their everyday family and community life. Contrary to popular conceptions that promote social capital building as the solution to social fractures caused by immigration and ethnic diversity, findings illustrate how communicative conditions experienced by minority Hispanic ethnic families may affect the constitution of their bonding, bridging and linking social capital processes. The potential impact of social capital on social cohesion will vary depending on the ways in which its effects are enhanced or diminished by the context of local neighbourhoods and the communication environ in which families are embedded.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)367-387
Number of pages21
JournalCommunity, Work and Family
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Communication context
  • Communities
  • Hispanic families
  • Immigration integration
  • Minorities
  • Social capital
  • Social cohesion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences(all)


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