The Role of Space in the Creation of the Social Capital of Sofia Students Before the Novel Coronavirus Pandemic

  • Lucien Peters University of National and World Economy
Keywords: space, social capital, students, well-being, ethnographic participant observation


The paper starts from the notion that the social capital of young persons is an essential part of their well-being and an individual's success in life and society. It presents ethnographic re-search of the role of urban and regional space as one of the factors relevant to the creation of young people’s social capital. The period of research is 2014-2020, until the beginning of the novel coronavirus pandemic in late February 2020. The principal research method is longitu-dinal ethnographic participant observation in a higher education setting in Sofia, comple-mented by semi-structured interviews and life histories of informants, gathered in informal settings, with members of the post-1980 generations. Informants were aged 19-36, of both genders, and all were known to the enquirer for periods ranging between two and seven years. Their socialization and education took place largely in post-Communist times. The ethno-graphic observation examines the geographical environment of students’ lives, as the space where life takes place is a key factor for the quality of youth people's lives and well-being. Their homes, hometowns, educational institution, leisure pursuits; their potential contacts with other cultures, and other factors which may have emerged during observation, and which may have contributed to the formation of students’ social circles and their attitudes towards civic life, have been examined.


Christaller, W. (1933). Die zentralen Orte in Süddeutschland [The central places in southern Germany], Gustav Fischer Verlag.
Giordano, C., & Kostova, D. (2013). No wealth without networks and personal trust: New capitalist agrarian entrepreneurs in the Dobrudzha; In G. Duijzings (Ed.), Global vil-lages: rural and urban transformations in contemporary Bulgaria (pp. 105-122). An-them Press.
Hörschelmann, K., & Stenning, A. (2008). Ethnographies of postsocialist change. Progress in Human Geography, 32(3), 339–361.
Lawton, L., Silverstein, M., & Bengtson, V. (1994). Affection, social contact, and geographic distance between adult children and their parents. Journal of Marriage and Family, 56(1), 57-68. doi:10.2307/352701
Rutten, R., Westlund, H., Boekema, F. (2010). The spatial dimension of social capital, Euro-pean Planning Studies, 18(6), 2010, 863-871.
Von Thünen, J. (1826). Der isolierte staat: beziehung auf landwirtschaft und nationalökonomie [The isolated state: relationship to agriculture and national economy], Gustav Fischer Verlag.
Westlund, H. (1999). An interaction-cost perspective on networks and territory. Annals of Re-gional Science, 33(1), 93-121.
How to Cite
Peters, L. (2021). The Role of Space in the Creation of the Social Capital of Sofia Students Before the Novel Coronavirus Pandemic. Postmodernism Problems, 11(2), 137-156.