Dog Parks as an Institutional Resource for Social Capital in the Urban Neighborhood

In: Society & Animals
Aviva Vincent Social Welfare The Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences Case Western Reserve University Cleveland, OH

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This literature review seeks to advance the interdisciplinary conversation that dog parks are a resource for building social capital through interpersonal exchange, which is beneficial for both individuals’ health across the life span and for the communities. Dog parks have been linked to health promotion behaviors and improved long-term health of the companion animals and their guardians. Similarly, social capital and dog guardianship have been independently linked to positive health outcomes through a limited amount of literature. By analyzing the relevant literature on the triangulation of social capital, dog-human relationship, and dog parks within the United States through a robust literature review, the author seeks to advance the call for empirical research towards understanding dog parks as a mechanism to create and sustain social capital within urban neighborhoods.

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