Beyond Flint's Dependent Deindustrialization: A Visual Examination of Social Capital

Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Barry Goetz

Second Advisor

Dr. Gregory Howard

Third Advisor

Dr. Carl Lafata


Visual analysis, Flint's deindividualization

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Abstract Only

Restricted to Campus until



Social Capital Theory, as developed by Robert Putnam (1993), explains variations in benefits able to be secured through participation in various networks and groups within our everyday lives. This theory predicts that individuals involved with the correct networks are able to profit greatly from relationships formed, and secure various benefits that work to shield individuals and communities against various hardships. This study address two research questions: (1) to what extent does social capital matter in the ability of a community to rebound or insulate itself? and (2) what is the impact of the negative social capital on communities in Flint? Does this form of capital serve to further isolate these communities and inhibit their ability to rebound? This study examines three wards within the city of Flint. These are the second ward, the seventh ward, and the eighth ward; this examination is done through the use of photographs. The photographs capture sources of positive social capital, financial capital, and negative social capital.


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