On the margins of Healthcare: Role of Social Capital in Health of Migrants in India

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Shriyuta Abhishek
Nanda Kishore Kannuri


Social capital is a widely studied concept in sociology, philosophy and development economics since the late nineteenth century. In India, the various dogmas of the theory of social capital have not been studied to their potential, especially in the domain of public health. This study was conducted to determine healthcare access among migrants and their social capital, in order to explore the association between social capital and healthcare access. A mixed-method approach was adopted for the study. A survey (n=61) was conducted in a residential area in Bilaspur district of Chhattisgarh state, using Shortened Adapted Social Capital Assessment Tool (SASCAT). The qualitative component of the study will be published separately. It was found that 78.6 percent of migrants have a ‘low’ social capital and 21.3 percent have a ‘high’ social capital. Fischer’s exact test showed that there is no significant association between the economic status and social capital of individuals (p=0.06). The research study concluded that there is a linkage between social capital and healthcare access. High social capital resulted in better healthcare access, especially among vulnerable groups (women, disabled and elderly people). The findings of the study helped in charting out the pathways of healthcare access within the framework of Bordieu’s theory of social capital. It can be said that the concept of social capital has remained unexplored by academia and policymakers alike. In order to improve the healthcare access of migrants, health systems must delve into the complex nuances around tenets of social capital in healthcare.

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How to Cite
Abhishek, S., & Kannuri, N. (2021). On the margins of Healthcare: Role of Social Capital in Health of Migrants in India. CASTE / A Global Journal on Social Exclusion, 2(2), 341-358. https://doi.org/10.26812/caste.v2i2.218
Research Articles
Author Biography

Shriyuta Abhishek

The primary author is a research fellow in a not-for-profit organization called Society for Education, Action and Research in Community Health in Gadchiroli, Maharashtra.