Social Capital Theory in Social Media Research
11 Pages Posted: 2 Jun 2015
Date Written: June 1, 2015
Social media usage has increased significantly over the last decade with software such as Facebook gaining widespread popularity. It is common practice to evaluate the performance of software by using direct means such as transaction time. However it less common but equally important to consider the performance of software in terms of the value that it provides for users. Social capital theory provides a means to examine the idea of social value in communication networks. Therefore this paper contains a review of the literature on social capital theory as it has been used in social media research. It was found social capital theory provides concepts useful for analysis of online social interactions. In particular it was found that that Putnam (1995, 2000) is the most cited source in the literature largely due to the prevalence in the use of the concepts of bonding and bridging social capital. Another significant source is Bourdieu (1985) who provides a frequently cited definition of social capital which is clear and comprehensive. Overall it was found that there are a number of studies which have advanced the understanding of how computers can support the communication structure underpinning social capital. The paper concludes by explaining that the literature on social capital theory in social media contains a number of significant findings which are at times contradictory.
Keywords: Social Capital Theory, Social Media
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