Social Capital as a Factor of Success in Mexican Cooperatives: Case – Cooperativa “Las Chiquihuitecas” Producer of Grana Cochinilla

Social Capital as a Factor of Success in Mexican Cooperatives: Case – Cooperativa “Las Chiquihuitecas” Producer of Grana Cochinilla

José G. Vargas-Hernández (University of Guadalajara, Mexico) and Claudia Leticia Preciado Ortiz (University of Guadalajara, Mexico)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-6298-6.ch016


The main objective of this chapter is to reflect the importance of social capital in the establishment and growth of cooperatives in Mexico, specifically the cooperative “Las Chiquihuitecas,” producer of cochineal insect (Dactylopius coccus Costa). The research method used was totally qualitative applying the documentary analysis and the interview in depth as an instrument for the collection of the information. As a result, it was obtained that social capital has been the key element in the formation and development of the cooperative.
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In 1820 cooperativism was born in England as an economic system, when workers sought to overcome their social conditions. The Cooperative of Rochdale is mentioned by several authors as the first exercise of cooperatives in the world, formed by 28 workers in 1944. The weavers faced miserable working conditions and low wages, and could not afford the high prices of food and household items. They decided that joining their scarce resources and working together could access basic goods at a lower price.

Initially, there were only four items for sale: Flour, oatmeal, sugar and butter. Each client became a member and grew (International Co-operative Alliance ICA, 2017a). Subsequently, in 1985, the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) was founded, establishing the principles and values on which the functioning and development of cooperatives would be based (Center for Social Studies and Of Public Opinion CESOP, 2016). The ICA is an independent non-governmental organization that is established to “unite, represent and serve cooperatives around the world”; serving as a voice and global forum for knowledge, experience and coordinated action for and about cooperatives (International Co-operative Alliance ICA, 2017b).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Empowerment: It is the control or power that an individual acquires about him or the circumstances in which he develops.

Social Capital: It is an economic and social concept that deals with the relationships and connections between people and / or organizations that coexist with each other, generating economic benefits or competitive advantages that are used for the growth of those involved. Some of the elements considered are: reciprocity, trust, solidarity, cooperation, communication, cohesion and empowerment.

Trust: It is the feeling or belief among individuals or organizations that they are good and honest, where they will not be hurt or betrayed, generating a connection between them.

Reciprocity: It is the feeling of empathy or correspondence from one individual to another.

Cooperation: The act in which a group of people or organizations share a common goal and work together to achieve it.

Social Networks: It is the set of links or interconnections that are generated through the coexistence and interaction of individuals or organizations in a social environment.

Social Cohesion: It can be considered as a connection or feeling between individuals or organizations that arises through the creation of a sense of belonging to the group, promoting the trust, inclusion and well-being of all those involved.

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