Coexisting Mechanisms from Bonding/Bridging Social Capital to Subjective Well-Being

Tuesday, 12 July 2016: 17:12
Location: Hörsaal 27 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Masayuki KANAI, Senshu University, Japan
Subjective well-being or happiness is one of the most important but controversial frontiers in social capital research. Subjective well-being itself is essential for rational choice sociology because it has been regarded as the ultimate goal of rational actions during the history of social sciences since Aristotle. However, in spite of an old story from the viewpoint of civil society that bridging social capital should bring about a good and efficient society, empirical evidences from survey data on the relationship between bridging/bonding social capital and subjective well-being have been often inconsistent with each other not only between different societies but also even within a society. This paper aims to propose a new perspective based on an empirical evidence that there could be more than one causal mechanisms between bridging/bonding trust and well-being which take turns in appearing or sometimes coexist with each other in the history of a society. The data were collected by a web survey conducted on February 2015 in Japan. The respondents (N = 10,419) were 20-69 year-old pre-registered monitors whose number were assigned proportionally to the latest census distribution in terms of age, gender, municipality size, and region. Latent class regression analyses discovered two contrasting latent classes regarding the relationship between trust and well-being. One group has a negative interaction between bridging and bonding trust to well-being, but the other group has a positive interaction between them. The respondents in the latter group have higher education, income, and bridging and bonding trust than those in the former group. This finding suggests a possibility that bonding and bridging trust complementarily promote well-being at some stage in the history, but in the process of modernization they turn to contribute synergistically to well-being.