This study examined the relationship between social capital and life satisfaction in an Asian context, focusing on South Korea and Taiwan. We considered two components of social capital – networks and trust – and argue that the ability of social capital to increase life satisfaction depends on the context. Using the national Life and Society survey data from South Korea (N = 978) and Taiwan (N = 1,200), our analysis found that, when several control variables, such as subjective social status, self-reported health condition, sex and belief in individualism, were considered, social capital was positively related to life satisfaction in Taiwan, while there was no significant association between social capital and life satisfaction in South Korea. The South Korean case revealed that social capital is not a good predictor of life satisfaction in a context in which being successful is overwhelmingly emphasised.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea. Grant funded by the Korean Government (NRF-2011-330-B00120).
© 2017 The Author(s). International Journal of Social Welfare © 2017 International Journal of Social Welfare and John Wiley & Sons Ltd
- life satisfaction
- social capital
- social connection
- South Korea
- support network