This research qualitatively investigates how bonding, bridging and linking social capital operates within neighbourhood initiatives during COVID-19 in the neighbourhood Bospolder-Tussendijken (BoTu) in Rotterdam. 32 Semi-structured interviews were conducted among 17 neighbourhood initiatives. This research showed that bonding social capital was most visible in friend and family-type relationships within the initiative and between neighbours, and a strong feeling of connection as well as having a shared vision helped initiatives with organizational capacity and durability. Bridging social capital was most visible in relationships with other initiatives as well as relationships with residents and it facilitated initiatives to be embedded in the neighbourhood, to gain knowledge and expertise, to find volunteers and to create connections between people of different cultural and ethnic backgrounds. Linking social capital was visible in relationships with formal organizations and it aided initiatives mostly by offering financial resources and sometimes with extra knowledge and expertise or organizational capacity. It sometimes hindered initiatives by making them financially dependent and thus less self-sufficient. Also, it created extra work because initiatives had to account to the municipality in exchange for subsidies. Lastly, linking ties sometimes hindered initiatives by causing frustrations when there was a lack of reciprocity. This research shows that investing in all types of social ties has helped initiatives in BoTu in many ways during COVID-19. Future policy could focus on strengthening relationships between initiatives and formal organizations in order to enhance reciprocity and trust and in this way create linking ties that are truly helpful to initiatives.

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Wenda Doff, Gijs Custers
Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Prins, I. (2021, June 20). Bonding, Bridging and Linking Social Capital in Neighbourhood Initiatives in BoTu during COVID-19. Sociology. Retrieved from