The impact of Facebook use on micro-level social capital

A synthesis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

The relationship between Facebook use and micro-level social capital has received substantial scholarly attention over the past decade. This attention has resulted in a large body of empirical work that gives insight into the nature of Facebook as a social networking site and how it influences the social benefits that people gather from having social relationships. Although the extant research provides a solid basis for future research into this area, a number of issues remain underexplored. The aim of the current article is twofold. First, it seeks to synthesize what is already known about the relationship between Facebook use and micro-level social capital. Second, it seeks to advance future research by identifying and analyzing relevant theoretical, analytical and methodological issues. To address the first research aim, we first present an overview and analysis of current research findings on Facebook use and social capital, in which we focus on what we know about (1) the relationship between Facebook use in general and the different subtypes of social capital; (2) the relationships between different types of Facebook interactions and social capital; and (3) the impact of self-esteem on the relationship between Facebook use and social capital. Based on this analysis, we subsequently identify three theoretical issues, two analytical issues and four methodological issues in the extant body of research, and discuss the implications of these issues for Facebook and social capital researchers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)399-419
Number of pages20
JournalSocieties
Volume5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2015

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facebook
micro level
social capital
social benefits
self-esteem
networking
interaction

Keywords

  • social network sites
  • Facebook
  • Social Capital
  • bonding social capital
  • bridging social capital
  • Self-esteem

Cite this

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title = "The impact of Facebook use on micro-level social capital: A synthesis",
abstract = "The relationship between Facebook use and micro-level social capital has received substantial scholarly attention over the past decade. This attention has resulted in a large body of empirical work that gives insight into the nature of Facebook as a social networking site and how it influences the social benefits that people gather from having social relationships. Although the extant research provides a solid basis for future research into this area, a number of issues remain underexplored. The aim of the current article is twofold. First, it seeks to synthesize what is already known about the relationship between Facebook use and micro-level social capital. Second, it seeks to advance future research by identifying and analyzing relevant theoretical, analytical and methodological issues. To address the first research aim, we first present an overview and analysis of current research findings on Facebook use and social capital, in which we focus on what we know about (1) the relationship between Facebook use in general and the different subtypes of social capital; (2) the relationships between different types of Facebook interactions and social capital; and (3) the impact of self-esteem on the relationship between Facebook use and social capital. Based on this analysis, we subsequently identify three theoretical issues, two analytical issues and four methodological issues in the extant body of research, and discuss the implications of these issues for Facebook and social capital researchers.",
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The impact of Facebook use on micro-level social capital : A synthesis. / Antheunis, Marjolijn; Vanden Abeele, Mariek; Kanters, S.

In: Societies, Vol. 5, 30.04.2015, p. 399-419.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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AB - The relationship between Facebook use and micro-level social capital has received substantial scholarly attention over the past decade. This attention has resulted in a large body of empirical work that gives insight into the nature of Facebook as a social networking site and how it influences the social benefits that people gather from having social relationships. Although the extant research provides a solid basis for future research into this area, a number of issues remain underexplored. The aim of the current article is twofold. First, it seeks to synthesize what is already known about the relationship between Facebook use and micro-level social capital. Second, it seeks to advance future research by identifying and analyzing relevant theoretical, analytical and methodological issues. To address the first research aim, we first present an overview and analysis of current research findings on Facebook use and social capital, in which we focus on what we know about (1) the relationship between Facebook use in general and the different subtypes of social capital; (2) the relationships between different types of Facebook interactions and social capital; and (3) the impact of self-esteem on the relationship between Facebook use and social capital. Based on this analysis, we subsequently identify three theoretical issues, two analytical issues and four methodological issues in the extant body of research, and discuss the implications of these issues for Facebook and social capital researchers.

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