Schools are coherent social networks which readily demonstrate (and indeed orient their missions around) the effects of social capital.
Coleman, J. S., & Hoffer, T. (1987). Public and Private High Schools: The Impact of Communities. New York: Basic Books
Coleman began work on adolescent subcultures, using schools as the limiting network, in his book the Adolescent Society (1961). He concluded that adolescent disengagement was entirely rational, and embedded in subcultures. After all, 'In a high school, the norms act to hold down the achievements of those who are above average, so that the school’s demands will be at a level easily maintained by the majority. Grades are almost completely relative, in effect ranking students relative to others in their class. Thus extra achievement by one student not only raises his position, but in effect lowers the position of others.' The most effective things schools do, he suggested, relate to competition not within groups, but between them, eg. the interschool football competition. Individual competition in group decreased motivation to exceed. He expanded these findings in subsequent works, demonstrating that schools could play a key role in raising the opportunities of marginalized people (Equality of Educational Opportunity, 1966); that Catholic private schools provided the best options for verbal and mathematical learning (High School Achievement 1982; Public and Private High Schools 1987). This latter marked his move away from the structural nature of schools per se, and towards considering how social capital in the community which attended the school (relationships within the family, and between the family members and the community institutions) influenced learning.
Coleman, J. S. (1988). 'Social capital in the creation of human capital'. American Journal of Sociology 94.1, pp. 95-120.
Coleman proposed that the increased 'social capital' provided by Catholic teaching and 'closure' was the reason for Catholic schools outperforming public schools in Mathematics learning. Kandel and Lesser (Youth in Two Worlds 1972) found that such influence was 'domain specific', ie. parental relationships were more influential in future life choices, while peers were more influential in current lifestyle choices. Morgan & Sorenson (1999) (below) found that normativity and closure had, on balance, no positive effect in academic results per se, beyond the ability to enforce a more rigorous curriculum. Tlili & Obsiye (2014) critique Coleman's assumptions as 'premised on a mix of communitarian, culturalist and familial axioms within a normative vision for suburban milieus where social capital features as a constitutive marker of territory.' (p. 552)
Hofferth, S., Boisjoly, J., & Duncan, G. (1998). Parents’ extrafamilial resources and children’s school attainment. Sociology of Education, 71(3), 246–248.
Sun, Y. (1999). The contextual effects of community social capital on academic performance. Social Sciences Research, 28(4), 403–426.
Morgan, S., & Sorenson, A. (1999).'Parental networks, social closure, and mathematics learning: A test of Coleman's social capital explanation of school effects', American Sociological Review 64.5 (Oct.), pp.661-681.
McNeal, R. B. J. (1999). Parental involvement as social capital: Differential effectiveness on science achievements, truancy, and dropping out. Social Forces, 78(1), 117–144.
Rose, R. (2000). How much does social capital add to individual health? A survey study of Russians, Social Science and Medicine, 51(9), 1421–1435
Winter, I. (2000). Towards a theorised understanding of family life and social capital. Working Paper No. 21. Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.
Israel, G. D., Beaulieu L. J., & Hartless, G. (2001). The influence of family and community social capital on educational achievements. Rural Sociology, 66(1), 43–68
Fukuyama, F. (2001). Social capital, civil society and development, Third World Quarterly, 22(1), 7–20.
Dika, S. L., & Singh, K. (2002). Applications of social capital in educational literature: A critical synthesis. Review of Educational Research, 72(1), 31–60.
Khattab, N. (2003). Explaining educational aspirations of minority students: the role of social capital and students’ perceptions. Social Psychology of Education, 6(4), 283–302.
Dika, S. L. (2003). The effects of self-processes and social capital on the educational outcomes of high school students. Doctoral thesis. Blacksburg, VA: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.
Ho, S. C. (2003). Home School Collaboration and Creation of Social Capital. Hong Kong Journal of Sociology 4(1), 57–85.
Schaefer-McDaniel, N.J. (2004). Conceptualizing social capital among young people: Toward a new theory. Children, Youth and Environments, 14(1), 140–150.
Hallinan, M. T. (2010). ‘Social Capital Effects on student outcomes.’ in V. O. Bartkus and J. H. Davis (eds.), Social Capital: Reaching Out, Reaching In, Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing, pp. 145-159.
Hallinan's study of Catholic schools in Chicago provides evidence that aspects of SC (such as ‘integenerational closure’, Coleman 1990) can increase non-academic outcomes such as ‘liking for school’, feelings of safety, trust, participation, and decrease negative outcomes such as ‘the number of times sent to the Principal’s office’. (Hallinan 2010, p. 145)
Tlili, Anwar and Obsiye, M. (2014). 'What Is Coleman’s Social Capital the Name of? A Critique of a Not Very Social Capital', Critical Sociology 40.4 (July), pp.551-574.
Fan, J. (2014). The impact of economic capital, social capital and cultural capital: Chinese families’ access to educational resources. Sociology Mind, 4(4), 272–281.
Cummins, P. S. A. & B. Adams. (2019). The Way: The Character of an Excellent 21C Education, Sydney: CIRCLE, 2019.
Cummins and Adams carried out a large, international study of character education in Boys Schools and concluded that the effectiveness of the school in forming character depended on the aggregation of 'character capital'. Character capital refers to the 'quantum of character in a community and its relevant expressions in education, practice, apprenticeship, and leadership for this character. ... [C]haracter education occurs all the time in multiple sites that develop character capital across the whole school. Character capital relates particularly to the value of the feelings and perceptions held by the school and wider communities about the character purpose and character strengths of a school. It mobilizes family support, and so in turn creates brand value, reputation and goodwill and results in loyalty, lifetime relationships and referrals. [Cummins and Adams, Final Report, 2018, p. 296)