Facebook and Social Capital
On Academia.edu from Brandon C. Bouchillon and Melissa R. Gotlieb: Making Them Count: Facebook Sociability for Optimizing the Accumulation of Social Capital. “In light of waning interpersonal contact in America, scholars have turned their attention to social network sites and the opportunities these provide for building and maintaining social relationships.The present study adds to this research, using national survey data from U.S. adults to examine how motivated use of Facebook for expanding and diversifying personal networks might revitalize real-world efforts of sociability for users, and returns to social capital that come by way of them. Results support our overall model relating weak-tie interactions to generalized trust.”
I do not have the sociology chops to appreciate the fine details of the experiments, but the before and after discussion is well worth reading, and frankly it’s refreshing to see some optimism about social networks and social capital.