Social capital refers to the network of associations, relationships and affiliations that connect individuals and families to communities. A city or region with a high rate of social capital can draw on it as a resource to promote volunteerism, civic engagement, philanthropy, voter participation, and mutual aid, and to mobilize and regroup during emergencies.There are two kinds of social capital: bonding and bridging.
The first creates bonds within a family or community to the exclusion of others. The second expresses how well people "bridge" differences in order to create a broader community. Bonding is essential to create a sense of belonging for a single family or community. But unless families and communities also "bridge" to others, they can become isolated, splitting apart rather than coming together when times get tough.