The role of Social Capital in Education Literature: A Critical Synthesis


  • K. Rv. Fr. Perera PhD Student, University of Sri Jayewardenepura
  • K. D. Gunawardena University of Sri Jayewardenepura
  • Weerakoon Banda University of Sri Jayewardenepura



This critical synthesis incorporates both theoretical and empirical literature on social capital. A primary role of social capital is to enable a child to gain access to human, cultural, and economic capital, as well as to school resources and support. The focus of the review is on educational literature that studies social capital and educational equity. After outlining the approach, next, the study undertakes a critical review of the literature by first examining emphatical literature, trends in conceptualization, theoretical base, method and then assessing empirical support for claims that social capital is positively linked to education equity. Finally, discuss gaps in the conceptualization, measurement, and analysis of social cultural, economic and human capital in educational literature.

Keywords: educational equity, literature reviews, social, economic, cultural and human capital