The Myth of Social Capital in Community Development
James DeFilippis King’s College, London
This article argues that contemporary interest in social capital by community develop- ment theorists, funders, and practitioners is misguided and needs to be thoroughly re- thought. It argues that social capital, as understood by Robert Putnam and people in- fluenced by his work, is a fundamentally flawed concept because it fails to understand issues of power in the production of communities and because it is divorced from eco- nomic capital. Therefore, community development practice based on this understanding of social capital is, and will continue to be, similarly flawed.