The Relationship between Social Capital and Sustainable Development of Borderline Areas (Case Study: Western Suburb Dehestan of Susangerd County)

Document Type : علمی


1 Tarbiat Modarres University

2 Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz

3 Shahid Behashti University


Extended Abstract
An advantageous development strategy for rural regions, known as rural sustainable development, contrast to the antecedent ones, is based on a systematic and holistic approach which involves fundamental aspects shaping a rural development system and a harmonized bonding between them. Given the definitions of sustainable development, its basic components are progressive economy, social welfare, environmental quality, and good governance. It means that there should be a healthy life that should be achieved by satisfying the basic needs for people, together with keeping the environmental quality up, and realizing a high standard of living. In general, a sustainable development is a process through which a comprehensive, forward-looking approach, and a persistent satisfaction are established via making a reasonable relation between humans and environment as well as within its components; a rational intervention in order to keep the relation sustained dynamically, an integration of advanced technology with indigenous knowledge and recognizing the right of individuals. To evaluate the rural sustainability in terms of condition of the area and the problem posed in this study, it is necessary to integrate the sustainable development indexes with social capital theory.
One of the important features in social sustainable development is the use of capital concept in its social dimension. Though the word capital has primarily been applied in economics since two past decades, it has progressively been adopted in social domains and is now considered as a significant concept in the development issues. Social capital has been added to three other categories of capital concept, which are commonly referred to as physical or manufacturing, natural, and human capitals in economic analyses. Typically, the economic growth and development are based on physical or manufacturing, natural, and human capitals which are recognized as the wealth of a nation. It is recently found that these three kinds of capital function merely in a part of economic growth process because they do not have any effect on the way in which the agents economically interact and adjust each other. Therefore, in order to find out the discrepancy in growth of different countries which have an identical situation based on these three kinds of capitals, it is need to look for a missing link, which is social capital.
The main concern of policy makers is why the difficult economic condition and the lives of people are getting worse while the government is injecting huge investment into both manufacturing and service sectors? Commonly, when we are talking about economic problems we highlight a scarcity of physical capital without considering the social capital. However, need of social capital in recession or inflation conditions that require trustworthiness is much more felt than other capitals and the social capital along with the other capitals can solve many problems in economy.
The method of this research is descriptive-analytical. The data was collected through both field and library sources using a researcher–designed questionnaire (according to findings of theoretical framework). The indexes and variables were operated by using suitable items and the questionnaire’s validity was measured by Chronbach alpha test. The population consisted of inhabitants of villages in western suburb (including 19 villages; 1324 households with a total population of 5717 individuals). The sample was selected through Cochran method (people above 15 years as criterion) in terms of geographically distributed population by random sampling method. The ultimate data was analyzed using SPSS software.
The findings of the study indicate that there exists a direct and strong correlation between social capital and rural sustainability, and that as the range of social capital expands, the villages become more sustainable. Given the findings, it can be said that the social capital has a capability to make a village socially and environmentally viable, dynamic, and sound. The results obtained based on this hypothesis show that all the social capital indicators can function to achieve to a sustainable development in the villages. The rural communities believe that the social capital is effective in promoting the quality of life and environment. In addition, the higher the tested social capital indicators are, the more improved and desirable village sustainability will be. It is due to the fact that the social confidence improves the interaction of villagers followed by increased collaborations. Therefore, social capital increases the confidence and participation among villagers contributing to a better and a more persistent village.


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