Sociology Index


What is capital in the economc system? Capital is central to a capitalist economic system. Capital is accumulation of goods or wealth used for the production of other goods and services rather than for immediate or personal use. If a computer is used to generate revenue it can be considered capital. Other than economic capital or financial capital, we also have human capital, social capital or individual capital. Human Capital Accumulation is now regarded as a prime engine of growth. Adam Smith, regarded as the Father of Capitalism, defines capital as "that part of man's stock which he expects to afford him revenue". Capital is distinct from non-renewable resources in that capital can be increased by human labor. Total physical capital may be referred to as the capital stock, which is not the same as capital stock of a business entity.

The Effects of Social Group Membership and Social Capital Resources on Careers - Rochelle Parks-Yancy. Using a nationally representative sample, this study looks at the effects of race, gender, and social capital resources on two career measures: (a) earnings and (b) promotions. The author finds that blacks suffer a social capital deficit relative to whites and that men and whites’ career advantages accumulate over time, whereas blacks’ disadvantages accumulate, as well. Thus, race, gender, and social capital resources contribute to unequal career trajectories, and these results generalize to the U.S. population.

Human Capital is the talents and capabilities that individuals contribute to the process of production. Human capital also refers to the sum total of skills and knowledge embodied in the ability to perform labor so as to produce economic value.

Physical capital in an organization would be the things that are owned by the corporation - the typewriters, computers, buildings, manufacturing equipment, etc. The physical capital might be worth a lot or very little. There are a variety of well defined measures by which the value of the physical capital might be defined.

Social Capital is ‘trust, norms and networks’ that facilitate cooperation for mutual benefit -Putnam. "social capital" is an analogous term to "human capital" which was itself created by analogy to the term "physical capital." - Michael B. Spring

Capital accumulation is the process of accumulating resources for use in the production of goods and services. Private capital accumulation takes place when productive capacity exceeds the immediate needs for consumption. For example, a farmer can accumulate capital (stored grains, improved equipment etc.) during years of good harvests and good farm revenues.