Social Capital in Vietnam: An Analysis of Social Networks and Social Trust

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Nguyen Huu An
Le Duy Mai Phuong


This article is devoted to investigating the configuration of social capital in Vietnam at the individual level. Its analysis focuses on social networks and social trust, the two key dimensions of social capital. Particularly, the study examines the change of these two dimensions over time in the context of Vietnam. In order to achieve these aims, the study employs data of Vietnam from waves 5 and 7 of the World Values Survey (WVS), the largest social survey in the world, for the analyses. Quantitative analyses reveal the findings that Vietnam is characterized by a high level of bonding social capital, in which the Vietnamese tend to place their high level of trust on a small circle of known people and have frequent contact with people close to them. Furthermore, the results reveal a decline of membership in mobilized and less-mobilized organizations, corresponding with an increase in the membership in separate groups. The study also discloses a noteworthy finding that while the participation in mobilized groups has a positive impact on social trust, the engagement in less-mobilized and separate groups increases the distrust in others. It suggests that, in Vietnam, associational participation doesn’t necessarily foster trust as occurred in West societies.


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An, N. H., & Phuong, L. D. M. . (2021). Social Capital in Vietnam: An Analysis of Social Networks and Social Trust. Journal of Mekong Societies, 17(2), 1–27. Retrieved from