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Concept: Capital


Do cultural values enhance financial and subjective well-being (SWB)? Taking a multidisciplinary approach, we meta-analytically reviewed the field, found it thinly covered, and focused on individualism. In counter, we collected a broad array of individual-level data, specifically an Internet sample of 8,438 adult respondents. Individual SWB was most strongly associated with cultural values that foster relationships and social capital, which typically accounted for more unique variance in life satisfaction than an individual’s salary. At a national level, we used mean-based meta-analysis to construct a comprehensive cultural and SWB database. Results show some reversals from the individual level, particularly masculinity’s facet of achievement orientation. In all, the happy nation has low power distance and low uncertainty avoidance, but is high in femininity and individualism, and these effects are interrelated but still partially independent from political and economic institutions. In short, culture matters for individual and national well-being.

Concepts: Sociology, Economics, Culture, Anthropology, Capital, Cross-cultural communication, Nationality, Geert Hofstede


There is currently widespread concern that access to, and success within, the British acting profession is increasingly dominated by those from privileged class origins. This article seeks to empirically interrogate this claim using data on actors from the Great British Class Survey (N = 404) and 47 qualitative interviews. First, survey data demonstrate that actors from working-class origins are significantly underrepresented within the profession. Second, they indicate that even when those from working-class origins do enter the profession they do not have access to the same economic, cultural and social capital as those from privileged backgrounds. Third, and most significantly, qualitative interviews reveal how these capitals shape the way actors can respond to shared occupational challenges. In particular we demonstrate the profound occupational advantages afforded to actors who can draw upon familial economic resources, legitimate embodied markers of class origin (such as Received Pronunciation) and a favourable typecasting.

Concepts: Sociology, Quantitative research, Acting, Capital, Received Pronunciation, Working class, Five Capitals


PURPOSE: This article focuses on how visiting contemporary art galleries and discussing the artwork in facilitated focus groups affected culturally inactive participants' social and cultural capital. The research is taken from a larger study that explored the contribution that visiting contemporary art galleries made to the well-being of people aged 64 and older. DESIGN AND METHODS: A total of 19 participants were given guided visits around 3 contemporary art galleries in the United Kingdom. Participants were drawn from categories identified as not already actively engaged in cultural activities (men, those with a limiting disability, people from minority ethnic backgrounds, those in lower socioeconomic groups and people living alone). Before and after each visit, focus group interviews were used to gage the impact of participation in the intervention in terms of subjective well-being. Follow-up interviews were held with participants and group leaders 2 years after the visits. RESULTS: Spontaneous reminiscence was a functional part of the discussion that facilitated shifts in participants' social and cultural capital. Participants developed bonding social capital with each other, bridging social capital with group leaders, and linking social capital with gallery staff and researchers. Participants' cultural capital developed in terms of an increase in knowledge and understanding of contemporary art. IMPLICATIONS: Understanding the interplay between social capital, cultural capital, and reminiscence has implications for programmers and policy makers trying to engage less culturally engaged participants in the arts. Developing bonding, bridging, and linking social capital and cultural capital through engagement with the arts may have implications for health, particularly among this demographic.

Concepts: Focus group, Sociology, United Kingdom, Capital, Contemporary art gallery, Engagement, The arts, Arts


The growth of >300 million children <5 y old was mildly, moderately, or severely stunted worldwide in 2010. However, national estimates of the human capital and financial losses due to growth faltering in early childhood are not available.

Concepts: Childhood, Investment, Capital


Social institutions that facilitate sharing and redistribution may help mitigate the impact of resource shocks. In the North American Arctic, traditional food sharing may direct food to those who need it and provide a form of natural insurance against temporal variability in hunting returns within households. Here, network properties that facilitate resource flow (network size, quality, and density) are examined in a country food sharing network comprising 109 Inuit households from a village in Nunavik (Canada), using regressions to investigate the relationships between these network measures and household socioeconomic attributes. The results show that although single women and elders have larger networks, the sharing network is not structured to prioritize sharing towards households with low food availability. Rather, much food sharing appears to be driven by reciprocity between high-harvest households, meaning that poor, low-harvest households tend to have less sharing-based social capital than more affluent, high-harvest households. This suggests that poor, low-harvest households may be more vulnerable to disruptions in the availability of country food.

Concepts: Sociology, Canada, Property, North America, Inuit, Capital, Quebec, Nunavut


The influence of visual exposure to health-related behaviours, such as smoking, is increasingly acknowledged in the public health literature. Social contagion or normalisation is thought to operate through the visibility of those behaviours. There has been a lack of systematic and comprehensive approaches to quantifying visual exposure to these behaviours over a relatively large geographic area. We describe the novel application of a geographic tool, viewshed analysis, to estimate visual exposure to smoking outside bars/cafés across a downtown area.

Concepts: Health care, Psychology, Health, Fiction, Novel, Literature, Capital, Viewshed


Pay for success (PFS) is a type of social impact investing that uses private capital to finance proven prevention programs that help a government reduce public expenditures or achieve greater value. We conducted an analysis of the first eleven PFS projects in the United States to investigate the potential of PFS as a strategy for financing and disseminating interventions aimed at improving population health and health equity. The PFS approach has significant potential for bringing private-sector resources to interventions regarding social determinants of health. Nonetheless, a number of challenges remain, including structuring PFS initiatives so that optimal prevention benefits can be achieved and ensuring that PFS interventions and evaluation designs are based on rigorous research principles. In addition, increased policy attention regarding key PFS payout issues is needed, including the “wrong pockets” problem and legal barriers to using federal Medicaid funds as an investor payout source.

Concepts: Public health, Demography, Economics, Investment, Population health, Capital, Finance, Social determinants of health


After nearly a century-long trend toward single-family living arrangements, people in wealthy nations are increasingly living in multi-generational households. Multi-generational living arrangements can, in theory, increase psychological, social, and financial capital-factors associated with improvements in health and longevity.

Concepts: Family, Demography, Sociology, Economics, Investment, Capital, Social capital


In response to ecosystem degradation from rapid economic development, China began investing heavily in protecting and restoring natural capital starting in 2000. We report on China’s first national ecosystem assessment (2000-2010), designed to quantify and help manage change in ecosystem services, including food production, carbon sequestration, soil retention, sandstorm prevention, water retention, flood mitigation, and provision of habitat for biodiversity. Overall, ecosystem services improved from 2000 to 2010, apart from habitat provision. China’s national conservation policies contributed significantly to the increases in those ecosystem services.

Concepts: Biodiversity, Conservation biology, Ecology, Natural environment, Ecosystem, Sustainability, Habitat conservation, Capital


Valuing natural capital is fundamental to measuring sustainability. The United Nations Environment Programme, World Bank, and other agencies have called for inclusion of the value of natural capital in sustainability metrics, such as inclusive wealth. Much has been written about the importance of natural capital, but consistent, rigorous valuation approaches compatible with the pricing of traditional forms of capital have remained elusive. We present a guiding quantitative framework enabling natural capital valuation that is fully consistent with capital theory, accounts for biophysical and economic feedbacks, and can guide interdisciplinary efforts to measure sustainability. We illustrate this framework with an application to groundwater in the Kansas High Plains Aquifer, a rapidly depleting asset supporting significant food production. We develop a 10-y time series (1996-2005) of natural capital asset prices that accounts for technological, institutional, and physical changes. Kansas lost approximately $110 million per year (2005 US dollars) of capital value through groundwater withdrawal and changes in aquifer management during the decade spanning 1996-2005. This annual loss in wealth is approximately equal to the state’s 2005 budget surplus, and is substantially more than investments in schools over this period. Furthermore, real investment in agricultural capital also declined over this period. Although Kansas' depletion of water wealth is substantial, it may be tractably managed through careful groundwater management and compensating investments in other natural and traditional assets. Measurement of natural capital value is required to inform management and ongoing investments in natural assets.

Concepts: Measurement, Investment, Sustainability, United Nations, Capital, Depreciation, Capital accumulation, Asset