Document Type


Publication Date



Eberly College of Arts and Sciences


Social Work


Lyda J. Hanifan was one of the original staff members of the West Virginia Department of Education, and internationally celebrated as the first author to formulate the concept of social capital.

Source Citation


Although it appears in an online encyclopedia, this is original peer-reviewed research. It arose from a single sentence mention of Hanifan on page 19 of Robert Putnam's (2000) book Bowling Alone, where he credits Hanifan as the originator of the concept of social capital. At the time the unapproved first draft of this article was completed (approximately June, 2010), it was the only mention of Hanifan on the World Wide Web. (A Google search on June 22, 2010, the day the Final Draft was approved by three Citizendium editors, an actual Google search produced only one listing - this one. Subsequently, the entire article was copied (legally, under terms of the user agreements) and posted with only small changes on Wikipedia as well. The photograph comes from the WV History Archive.



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