Publication Date


DOI (Digital Object Identifier)



Leadership and Higher Education


Doctor of Education (Ed.D)

Dissertation Chair

Jose W. Lalas, Ph.D.

Committee Members

Christopher H. Hunt, Ed.D.

Gregory W. Hamilton, Ed.D.


education; social capital; social relations; student engagement; support systems


Educational Leadership | Secondary Education


This dissertation examines the influence of social capital through social relations on student engagement. Specifically, it examines how the resources of social capital through the social relations developed with a group of high school students may have influenced their engagement in school. A narrative inquiry method was used to elicit the voices of students, teachers, administrators, community members, and parents belonging to an advisory group. Open interviews were conducted with participants so they could freely express their insights concerning the influence of social capital through social relations on student engagement. Data from the "authentic voices" of the participants were gathered and analyzed to discover commonality in the experiences and perceptions of the participants. Common themes were found concerning the influence of building positive social relations through social capital resources by looking at social interactions in group memberships, networks and social connections, and personal relationships. The investment of social capital resources through social relations reflected positive student engagement, according to responses of the participants interviewed. Bourdieu claimed, "The economic, social and symbolic 'profit' that follows from belonging to the associations establishes a concrete base for the growth of solidarity," according to Siisianen (2003, p. 294).


ISBN: 9781321204803