The Development of Bridging and Bonding Social Capital Among Sudanese Refugees in Guilford County, North Carolina

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Sandra Kathleen Ziegler (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site:
Kathleen Schroeder

Abstract: Social capital is defined as the procurement of benefits through membership in certain social groups or networks. Bonding and bridging are two types of social capital development. Bonding social capital refers to that which develops within a social group, while bridging social capital development connects multiple groups (Portes 1998). The channels through which refugees arrive in the United States result in unique patterns of social capital development. In particular, the government organizations and volunteer agencies (VOLAGs) who resettle refugees impact social capital development greatly. In Guilford County, North Carolina, VOLAGs have resettled a number of Sudanese refugees. Through theoretical and archival research, meetings with resettlement agencies and other aid organizations, participant observation at various community functions, and interviews with refugees themselves, I examined the development of social capital for Sudanese refugees in Guilford County. In particular, I compared the types of social capital that northern Sudanese refugees developed with that which southern Sudanese refugees developed. The refugees who came originally from North Sudan tend to have a different experience from those who arrive from South Sudan. While most of the northern Sudanese refugees live in Greensboro, most southern Sudanese refugees live in High Point. Most northerners are Muslim, while southerners usually practice Christianity. These basic differences between the communities result in the development of different types of social capital for each of the groups.

Additional Information

Ziegler, S.K. (2010). The Development of Bridging and Bonding Social Capital Among Sudanese Refugees in Guilford County, North Carolina. Unpublished master’s thesis. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2010

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