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Kristýna Blechová:
Reciprocita a reprodukce sociálního kapitálu v kontextu kmotrovských vazeb
[Reciprocity and Reproduction of Social Capital in the Context of Godparent Ties]

Blechová, K. 2022. „Reciprocita a reprodukce sociálního kapitálu v kontextu kmotrovských vazeb.“ Acta Fakulty filozofické Západočeské univerzity v Plzni / West Bohemian Review of Social Sciences & Humanities 14 (1): 37–50.

Received 21 March 2022 / Accepted 12 June 2022 / Published 30 June 2022

DOI: https://doi.org/10.24132/actaff.2022.14.1.3

This study focuses on the role of godparenthood in building social capital in Europe during the 19th century. It seeks to explain how social capital was reproduced in horizontal and vertical ties and what role reciprocity played. However, reciprocity is viewed primarily in the narrow context of social capital theory. Texts on godparenthood usually point to relationships based purely on utilitarian grounds. They typically lack support in social science theory and the terminology used is rarely discussed in detail. Drawing on basic texts from social capital theory or anthropology and history (in the case of godparenthood), the aim of the present text is to outline how social capital can be practically built through godparent relationships. In the introductory section, the basic structure of the reciprocity process is presented. The following passages focus specifically on the application of reciprocity in godparent relationships. The paper first seeks to answer a question that follows quite organically from the previous theoretical introduction. How is it possible that the so-called integrative ties (trust or solidarity) developed based on godparent ties, which were often purposively concluded and characterised by a negotiated and fully institutionalised type of exchange?

Key words
godparenthood, social capital, reciprocity, social status, prestige