Identity capital, social capital and the wider benefits of learning: generating resources facilitative of social cohesion
James E. Côté
University of Western Ontario, Canada
This paper reviews theory and research pertaining to the acquisition of identity capital and social capital, and applies it to the changing nature of learning in late-modern societies, where the ability to undertake individualized life courses is becoming an increasingly important divide in the fortunes of the young as they make their way to adulthood. The identity capital model is elaborated in terms of the importance now placed on choice-making in managing the individualization process and balancing the immediate appeal of default individualization with the long-term gains of developmental individualization. This model points toward the need to institute an 'education for choice' in curricula to enhance the wider benefits of learning for both the individual, in terms of identity capital accumulation, and for the community with respect to intergenerational social capital building.