(Re-)producing Bridging Social Capital

The Role of Urban and Rural Gentrification in the Entrepreneurial and Innovation Ecosystems

A high degree of social capital, especially bridging social capital, has a positive impact on economic growth – proven by many studies and authors – stimulating entrepreneurship and innovation, thus favouring the development of an entrepreneurial ecosystem. On the other hand, gentrification, i. e. the appreciation of certain urban areas and the concentration of the creative middle class, and later on the upper-middle class in these places, has been a leading research field for urban sociology for decades. This research trend has recently emerged in rural sociology as well. The purpose of this study is to combine these two phenomena and to examine how gentrification works. The paper examins the effects of gentrification, whether the clustering of a creative (artist, intellectual) population and the informal interactions with each other and with the upper middle classes in a certain part of the city or a small village helps rebuild bridging social capital and whether this may be a contributing factor in the growth of innovation and development of business in these areas. Considering that empirical research on this topic has not been conducted, the present paper outlines a conceptual framework for a potential research by merging the literature of different theoretical and research directions.

Released: Replika 111, 43–62.