Special Issue "Social Media and Social Capital"


A special issue of Societies (ISSN 2075-4698).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2014)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Sonja Utz
Knowledge Media Research Center, 72076 Tübingen, Germany
Website: http://www.sonja-utz.de
E-Mail: s.utz@iwm-kmrc.de
Phone: +49 7071/979-308
Interests: social media; online reputation management; trust; strategic information sharing

Guest Editor
Dr. Nicole Muscanell
Knowledge Media Research Center, 72076 Tübingen, Germany
Website: http://nicolemuscanell.wordpress.com
E-Mail: n.muscanell@iwm-kmrc.de
Phone: +49 7071 979-345
Interests: social media research; social influence; self-disclosure; self-presentation; individual differences

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Social media allow individuals to very easily connect and exchange information with as many (or as few) others as desired. Importantly, the people we connect and share with can be very well known others (e.g., close friends and relatives), people we know less (e.g., acquaintances we see from time to time), or even people we don’t really know or have never actually met face-to-face. Thus, an important question is how the strength of these connections influences what types of information we seek from and share with others, and what the underlying processes are. Traditional research on social capital has shown the benefits people can get from their social networks; strong ties provide us with emotional support, and weak ties provide us with non-redundant information. These assumptions might no longer hold true on social media where different contexts and audiences collapse and individuals tend to have much broader connections.

This special issue will bring together papers that focus on generating a current understanding about: 1) the benefits people seek and receive from their social media networks (i.e., information, knowledge, and/or emotional support) 2) how tie strength influences which benefits people receive; and 3) the underlying processes, especially the role of (self-related) self-disclosure.

We particularly seek papers that are theory driven and demonstrate underlying processes, including moderating and mediating variables, that can explain more directly how social tie strength relates to social capital (what people can obtain from their connections) and disclosure (what people share with their connections). Moreover, because much research on social media is focused on Facebook use by American students, we especially encourage contributions from other countries and on different social media platforms. Contributions are invited from all disciplines including psychology, media studies, communication science, and sociology.

Dr. Sonja Utz
Dr. Nicole Muscanell
Guest Editors


Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Societies is an international peer-reviewed Open Access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 300 CHF (Swiss Francs). English correction and/or formatting fees of 250 CHF (Swiss Francs) will be charged in certain cases for those articles accepted for publication that require extensive additional formatting and/or English corrections.


  • social media
  • social ties
  • social support
  • social capital
  • self-disclosure

Published Papers (2 papers)

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p. 640-653
by  and
Societies 2014, 4(4), 640-653; doi:10.3390/soc4040640
Received: 28 June 2014; in revised form: 19 September 2014 / Accepted: 31 October 2014 / Published: 13 November 2014
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(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Media and Social Capital)
p. 561-586
Societies 2014, 4(4), 561-586; doi:10.3390/soc4040561
Received: 7 August 2014; in revised form: 14 October 2014 / Accepted: 15 October 2014 / Published: 23 October 2014
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Last update: 29 October 2013

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