Honors Theses and Capstones

Date of Award

Spring 2022

Project Type

Senior Honors Thesis

College or School


Program or Major

Political Science and History

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

First Advisor

Elizabeth Carter


This study investigates the transformation of social capital over time, using the example of a small New England town: Kensington, New Hampshire. National social capital assessments indicate a substantial decline in social capital since the post-WW2 era. Kensington does not follow this extreme decline in social capital, with a significant rise during the 90s and into the early 2000s. Additionally, Kensington has high levels of social capital when compared to New Hampshire residents overall. Survey findings point to strong trust, yet weak social infrastructure in Kensington. Therefore, the most consistent way to maintain social capital between shifts is to create infrastructure to connect community members with community specific opportunities. This study’s methodology includes both an assessment of the community and its organizations from the post-WW2 era to 2021, and a social capital survey conducted in 2021.

Keywords: social capital, community, Kensington, New Hampshire, New England