Daily Archives: November 17, 2011

Dramatic growth in social capital scholarship

The attached graph from Google Lab’s Beta “Books Ngram Viewer” lets you chart the mention of various words over time.  It’s quite fascinating and thought-provoking.

One interesting comparison is the rise over time in the discussion of “human capital” vs. “social capital” as depicted in the following chart from 1900-2008 (blue is “human capital”, red is “social capital”.  [The data comes from the 5.2 million books that Google has digitized as part of their book project.]

Basically it took “social capital” about a quarter of the amount of time to become as dominant a concept in academic as human capital.  [Scholarly attention to social capital from 1993-2003, 10 years, advanced it to the point that it took “human capital” 40 years to achieve, from 1963-2003.

If you want to see a better image of the graph, click here.

Google Labs Books Ngram Viewer