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Chapter Summary

This introductory chapter provides a brief overview of the book Social Capital in Europe: Similarity of Countries and Diversity of People?: Multi-level analyses of the European Social Survey 2002. The book is devoted to cross-national survey research and focuses on a single concept, social capital. The chapter presents three questions: what do we understand as social capital?; which kinds of effects on social capital do we investigate?; and which methods do we use to investigate it? It also examines two series of questions. The first series refers to the country mean of the dependent person variable. The second series refers to the country slope of some independent person variable on the dependent person variable. In order to answer the two series of questions, person level variables must be analyzed as dependent on person and country variables simultaneously. That is, so-called multi-level analyses must be applied.

Keywords:European social survey; person level variables; social capital



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