Next Article in Journal
Animal Bodies, Colonial Subjects: (Re)Locating Animality in Decolonial Thought
Next Article in Special Issue
The Impact of Facebook Use on Micro-Level Social Capital: A Synthesis
Previous Article in Journal / Special Issue
Trust into Collective Privacy? The Role of Subjective Theories for Self-Disclosure in Online Communication
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Societies 2014, 4(4), 785-809; doi:10.3390/soc4040785

Let the Weakest Link Go! Empirical Explorations on the Relative Importance of Weak and Strong Ties on Social Networking Sites

Social Psychology: Media and Communication, Faculty of Engineering, University of Duisburg-Essen, Forsthausweg 2, Duisburg 47057, Germany
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 July 2014 / Revised: 29 August 2014 / Accepted: 2 December 2014 / Published: 18 December 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Media and Social Capital)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [545 KB, uploaded 18 December 2014]   |  

Abstract

Theoretical approaches as well as empirical results in the area of social capital accumulation on social networking sites suggest that weak ties/bridging versus strong ties/bonding social capital should be distinguished and that while bonding social capital is connected to emotional support, bridging social capital entails the provision of information. Additionally, recent studies imply the notion that weak ties/bridging social capital are gaining increasing importance in today’s social media environments. By means of a survey (N = 317) we challenged these presuppositions by assessing the social support functions that are ascribed to three different types of contacts from participants’ network (weak, medium, or strong tie). In contrast to theoretical assumptions, we do not find that weak ties are experienced to supply informational support whereas strong ties first and foremost provide emotional support. Instead we find that within social networking sites, strong ties are perceived to provide both emotional and informational support and weak ties are perceived as less important than recent literature assumes. View Full-Text
Keywords: social capital; bridging/bonding social capital; social support online; social networking sites social capital; bridging/bonding social capital; social support online; social networking sites
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

Scifeed alert for new publications

Never miss any articles matching your research from any publisher
  • Get alerts for new papers matching your research
  • Find out the new papers from selected authors
  • Updated daily for 49'000+ journals and 6000+ publishers
  • Define your Scifeed now

SciFeed Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Krämer, N.C.; Rösner, L.; Eimler, S.C.; Winter, S.; Neubaum, G. Let the Weakest Link Go! Empirical Explorations on the Relative Importance of Weak and Strong Ties on Social Networking Sites. Societies 2014, 4, 785-809.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Societies EISSN 2075-4698 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top