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Societies 2015, 5(2), 399-419; doi:10.3390/soc5020399

The Impact of Facebook Use on Micro-Level Social Capital: A Synthesis

Department of Communication and Information Sciences, Tilburg School of Humanities, Tilburg University, Warandelaan 2, 5037 AB Tilburg, The Netherlands
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Academic Editors: Sonja Utz and Nicole Muscanell
Received: 5 August 2014 / Accepted: 21 April 2015 / Published: 30 April 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Media and Social Capital)
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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. View Full-Text
Keywords: social network sites; Facebook; social capital; bonding; bridging; self-esteem social network sites; Facebook; social capital; bonding; bridging; self-esteem
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).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Antheunis, M.L.; Vanden Abeele, M.M.P.; Kanters, S. The Impact of Facebook Use on Micro-Level Social Capital: A Synthesis. Societies 2015, 5, 399-419.

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