Social capital in general talks about issues of various social and identity groups as well as of shared understanding of customs, morals and beliefs. It is a concept that has involved broad responsiveness from groups of policy makers to seek less costly solutions to various social issues (Portes, 1998, p.3). Social capital is different from human and economic capital. The first one refers to the abilities and acquaintance of individuals, i.e. education, whereas economic capital refers to wealth in general. Social capital, on the other hand, is about social interactions and social networks.
Thinkers like Durkheim and Marx pointed out to those ideas in their writings as I have learned from the lectures. Whereas, James Coleman is to be found as a sociologist to have termed ‘social capital’ as such. In his research he is intrigued by one’s behavioural choices influenced by public networks. Social capital, in Coleman’s definition “inheres in the structure of relations between actors and among actors … not lodged in the actors themselves or in physical implements of production” (Coleman 1988, S98).
Coleman highlights the fact that public wealth has a good social aspect that groups it apart from physical and human capital, which are private goods (Coleman 1988, S116). The structure of social relations that social capital inheres in can be captured in the idea of social networks, that is, the web of relationships between individuals in a given population. Forms of social capital such as obligation, trust, information channels, norms and sanctions are facilitated by social network structure.
According to Horowitz (1997) ‘parental choice has become firmly established on the public agenda in Israel and in the rest of the world. Parental choice of schools is defined as a principle according to which parents have the right to decide on which school to send their children irrespective of residential area.’ I believe that parents have the right to choose a school for the children in keeping with their worldview until the child is old enough to decide for himself. I also believe that parental freedom will encourage competition between schools, and make educational institutions to work better and provide higher standards of service in the long run. Financial aid should be always discussed in order to help the child and the family in question.