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The Australian National University

Social capital and capabilities


5 May 2011

The Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) defines social capital as ‘networks, together with shared norms, values and understandings which facilitate cooperation within or among groups'. The concept of social capital was developed in the US and, like the concept of wellbeing, its applicability to Indigenous Australians is a matter of ongoing debate. For example, an analysis of the standard measures of social capital may show that Indigenous Australians have lower levels than non-Indigenous Australians. However, the obvious question is whether the differences