Clubs and Associations

Community ties are the first safety net of the poor. Where these ties are strong, individuals are better able weather the impact of sudden hardship, by relying on the support of their friends, neighbours, and locality.  Where these ties are weak, individuals are at greater risk of adversity in the event of poverty or natural disaster, and have fewer support networks to facilitate economic and social advancement.

Theories of social capital in economic development distinguish between ‘bonding’ capital – ties to people who are similar in terms of their demographic characteristics, such as family members, neighbours, close friends and work colleagues – and ‘bridging’ capital, that is, relations that cut across vertical lines by facilitating upward movement across economic, social, and regional divides. The emphasis is usually placed on the importance of bridging networks that cut across social divides, as these allow greater social mobility and more widespread access to important information. But for many of the world’s people bonding ties are essential in protecting against social precarity, providing essential protection, risk management, and solidarity functions. Bonding social ties, such as those found within families and local communities, help individuals ‘get by’. They play a critical role in preventing poverty and social exclusion, by ensuring that individuals who fall on hard times do not also ‘fall through the cracks’ – as well as securing individuals’ wellbeing through a system of social relations and a community of identity.

The strength of ties to neighbourhood and associational life is measured by taking data on membership of local voluntary groups, time spent socialising with relatives and in local clubs, attendance of community meetings, and participation in development associations.

Data Used

IndicatorSourceCountries
Respondent says that they use their free time to participate in voluntary associationsLatinobarometer18
Respondent says that they use their free time to work for local or community development groupsLatinobarometer18
Percentage respondents who are members of youth groupsLatinobarometer18
Percentage of respondents who are members of women’s groupsLatinobarometer18
Percentage of respondents who are members of sports clubsLatinobarometer18
Percentage of respondents who are members of church groupsLatinobarometer18
Percentage of respondents who work for an issue that affects their community ‘very frequently’ or ‘frequently’Latinobarometer18
Percentage of respondents who are members of labour unionsLatinobarometer18
Percentage of respondents who are members of voluntary associationsLatinobarometer18
Percentage of respondents who are members of a political partyLatinobarometer18
Percentage of respondents who are members of a cultural centerLatinobarometer18
Active or inactive member of religious groupAfrobarometer16
Active or inactive member of development associationAfrobarometer16
Has or would be prepared to attend community meetingAfrobarometer16
Active or inactive member of labour unionAfrobarometer16
Active or inactive member of business groupAfrobarometer16
Percentage respondents saying that people generally help one another in their neighbourhoodInternational Crime Victim Survey59
Proportion of respondents who are active or inactive members, church or religious organisationWorld Values Survey57
Proportion of respondents who are active or inactive members, sports or recreational organisationWorld Values Survey58
Proportion of respondents who are active or inactive members, other voluntary associationsWorld Values Survey56
Participate in youth associations and groupsWorld Values Survey58
Belong to sports clubWorld Values Survey58
Respondent has conducted unpaid voluntary health workWorld Values Survey54
Respondent belongs to conservational organisationWorld Values Survey62
Respondent belongs to women’s organisationWorld Values Survey58
Respondent belongs to peace movementWorld Values Survey56
Proportion of respondents who are active or inactive members, arts, music, or educational organisationWorld Values Survey58
Proportion of respondents who are active or inactive members, labour unionWorld Values Survey58
Proportion of respondents who are active or inactive members, environmental organisationsWorld Values Survey57
Proportion of respondents who are active or inactive members, professional organisationsWorld Values Survey76
Proportion of respondents who are active or inactive members, human rights organisationsWorld Values Survey66
Proportion of respondents who are active or inactive members, consumer groupsWorld Values Survey22
Spent time socialising with friends in last month or last few weeksWorld Values Survey64
Spent time socialising with other members of arts or cultural association in last month or last few weeksWorld Values Survey58
Member of church or religious organisationInternational Social Survey27
Member of neighbourhood groupInternational Social Survey27