Is Online Social Networking Building Social Capital Essay


This is an argumentative research daily news that looks at Robert Putnam’s definition of Social network and provides fights that Online communities are building Social Capital as Putnam intended its definition. Initially, this newspaper will explore Putnam’s definition of Social Capital as well as their alternate meanings. Second, it will eventually explore the definition of Social Networking according to Putnam and also other comparable explanations.

Third, it will eventually distinguish certain distinctions inside the concept of Social network, Social Networks, and Social Capital. Fourth, it will eventually examine Putnam’s thesis that Social Capital has been decreasing due to the growing popularity of electronic appliances, personal computers, and henceforth, Social Network Sites. Fifth, it will take a look at alternate quarrels that other researchers have made in contrast to Putnam’s key disputes. Sixth, this paper will evaluate every one of Putnam’s important arguments compared to arguments straight in contrast with Putnam’s thesis. This paper will likewise provide personal insights and assessments that existing body system of knowledge in this field has not however covered.

Finally, seventh, this paper will determine that despite Putnam’s thesis that Sociable Capital continues to be declining as a result of growing demand for Social Network Sites, Cultural Capital provides in fact been growing by a very rapid pace. Launch Robert Putnam’s most important work Etambot Alone, which usually appeared in 1995, signaled the major adjustments that the Net Age has brought about inside the daily lives of Americans. Ever since then, the electronic community is continuing to grow in leaps and bounds as speedy technological advances and improvements radically improved American existence. Putnam laid the research for his arguments in Bowling Alone with Alex de Tocqueville’s observations of American life throughout the 1830s (65).

Note that Toccqueville’s era essentially covered the economic change of America from the Farming Age to the Industrial Era. This was a great age the place that the exodus of rural People in america into American cities to work in industries and monetary centers displayed mass migrations as well as improved productivity. Putnam continued putting the research for his arguments when he described the shift from the industrial era to the Computer system Age through a growing body system of study on the sociology of monetary development (66).

Since Putnam’s ‘Bowling Alone’ appeared in 1995, Putnam’s Computer Age group has already quickly shifted in to the Internet Age group starting in 1997 since Boyd and Ellison symbolized in their schedule ending 06 (212). Be aware also that the web Age signified the start of an international trend in globalization exactly where offshore manufacturers and the off-shoring of many American jobs a new great impact on American lives and local areas as well as specific ways of carrying out work. In this lumination, this paper will now check out Putnam’s notion of American Culture through the concepts of Sociable Capital and Social Networks or Social Networking.

Explanations Putnam offered a definition of ‘Social Capital’ through an analogy with physical and human being capital since the interpersonal scientists in the Industrial Age perceived the phenomena (67). For Putnam, physical and human capital pertain to “tools and training that enhance individual productivity” when social capital “refers for the features of a social business such as networks, norms, and social trust that facilitate coordination and cooperation to get mutual benefit” (67). Putnam’s central philosophy on interpersonal capital is that a person’s public and private life is seriously and hugely influenced by social links and social engagement (67).

In support of this definition, Barish aptly presented a basic and paraphrased version: …[I]t makes sense to understand Putnam’s techniques for describing and evaluating the American community… His discussion goes… such as this: A screwdriver is a important thing. It can benefit me create a house, or perhaps fix an auto, and so this increases both my individual productivity and the group productivity of my community. Similarly, any social contacts that I have got, whether with members of my bowling team, friends from the bar, co-members in the local Rotary club, or perhaps congregants coming from my synagogue increase my personal productivity plus the productivity of my group.

Just as the screwdriver is known as a piece of physical capital, the social connections that I preserve constitute ‘social capital’ and therefore are beneficial to equally myself and bystanders in the neighborhood. ” In another light, a literature review provided a much more thorough meaning of social capital in its wide, elastic, and indicative terms covering both its positive and negative indications (Ellison, Steinfield & Lampe 1145). Broadly speaking, a 1988 meaning of social capital refers to the accumulation of resources with the relationships among people (1145). It includes also been noted that social capital posseses an elastic explanation relative to the field of study it is being used in (1145).

In such diverse fields, cultural capital is normally seen as both equally a cause and effect or maybe more elaborately in a 1992 definition, as a amount of “resources, actual or virtual, that accrue for an individual or group due to possessing a durable network of approximately institutionalized human relationships of mutual acquaintance and recognition” (1145). Social capital is usually equated to success like “better public health, reduce crime rates, and more efficient economical markets” (1145). Meanwhile, indications of their decline are definitely the following bad outcomes: “increased social disorder, reduced engagement in civic activities” and escalating doubt among members of the community (1145).

Having established the framework pertaining to understanding Putnam’s social capital, the next search will be in Putnam’s point of view on ‘Social Networks’. Amusingly, Putnam would not provide a formal definition of internet sites but rather discussed or referred to its framework as follows: 1 ) Vitally important “for job positioning and many other financial outcomes; ” 2 . Extremely efficient, remarkably flexible ‘industrial districts’ based upon networks of collaboration between workers and small internet marketers; ” and 3. “The consolidation of country post offices and small university districts…” (66). With this context, it might now be discerned that Putnam’s focus on social support systems is work-related or the ones that pertain to economic benefit or output.

Additionally , as Putnam’s influential Bowling Only in 95, social capital and social networks have made conceptual offshoots as Boyd and Ellison show in their 2008 meaning of ‘Social Network Sites’ and its difference with ‘Social Social networking Sites’ (211). In simple terms, Boyd and Ellison define social networks as web-affiliated services that enable people to show and tell of their social networks resulting in connections that will otherwise not happen among people with existing along with previously existing offline connections in their type of work, education, community, family, former community and other specialised social groupings (211).

Although Beer makes a fine argument on the broadness of Boyd & Ellison’s definition and that there is a need to classify and categorize Social networks or SNS (517-9), it can be evident that aside from the people who are involved in an existing social network, passions like bowling (Putnam) or content just like videos in the case of YouTube (Beer 519) may bond collectively strangers with similar pursuits. These make the boundaries between social network sites vs social networking sites puzzling as Boyd and Ellison attempted to distinguish (211).

Variations With the previously mentioned definitions, uncomplicated, facile, undemanding, easy, basic, simple distinctions are now discernible from the available human body of work pertaining to social capital, social networks, and social networking compared to Putnam’s principles. Firstly, interpersonal capital relating to Putnam are built coming from an individual’s public and private life since shown with a person’s production through sociable connections and native community participation. Quan-Hasse and Wellman also note that Putnam’s social capital is essentially restricted to a neighborhood, city or maybe a country.

Moreover, Quan-Hasse and Wellman differentiates Putnam’s concept of social contacts as “interpersonal communication habits, including” physical visits, face-to-face physical “encounters, phone calls and social events. ” Additionally , Quan-Hasse and Wellman differentiates Putnam’s local community involvement, which can be usually called civic engagement, as the “degree to which people get involved in their community, both definitely and passively, including this sort of political and organizational actions as political rallies, book and sporting activities clubs. In this regard, Putnam’s idea is special mainly because geographically-knit in nature rather than geographically-dispersed.

Secondly, from Putnam’s point of view, internet sites are usually work-related or community-related where common benefits are produced since results or positive final results of a group activity or perhaps group activities involving physical actions or perhaps efforts. Regarding this, Putnam’s idea is special mainly since physical rather than virtual. Thirdly, based on Putnam’s perspective, social networks involve sociable bonds when it comes to who discover eye-to-eye, face-to-face, and bodily in a geographically-knit location while social networks or perhaps social networking is social developing and linking among people who knew the other person or even other people in a geographically-knit or geographically-dispersed location.

In this regard, Putnam’s idea is unique mainly as an interaction between people who have prior connections versus total strangers. Social Capital’s Fall Putnam provided a trouble and gloom scenario together with the advent of the Electronic and Computer Age group and its manifestations like the mailing list and tv set.

He masterfully used details and numbers to illustrate that Interpersonal Capital offers declined throughout the following manifestations: 1 . low voter turnout and substantial statistical variations since the 60s compared with the 1990s (67); 2 . reduced public getting together with attendance within a town area or at school (68); three or more. lower trust in government (68); 4. ower membership in workers’ assemblage, parents-teachers interactions, fraternities, religious organizations and also other mainstream businesses (68-70); and 5. lower membership in organized basketball leagues and the unprecedented within solo etambot (70). Putnam argued that the decreased revenue of pizzas and ale among bowling lane entrepreneurs is a appropriate example of a negative economic tendency due to the fall of cultural capital, the moment certain groups of people who bowled together at this point prefer to dish alone.

Significant of Putnam’s five indicators that supported his discussion is item 3. reduced trust in federal government. All other indicators involve some contact form physical action or efforts while trust is basically a great abstract idea. Social Capital’s Rapid Progress Quan-Haase and Wellman cautiously noted Putnam’s thesis about Social Capital’s decline and likewise identified C. S. Fischer’s counter-arguments against Putnam’s that: 1 . Putnam’s measures of social capital’s decline are invalid and unreliable; and 2 . this individual amount of decrease seemed to be substantial as seen by of Putnam while Fischer argued it is negligible and short-term.

While Fischer’s counter-arguments against Putnam’s are not getting a 360 level turn to illustrate the on the contrary, Fischer’s arguments subsequently motivated other disputes against Putnam’s contentions that showed lack of of the wall. Quan-Haase and Wellman insightfully observed: “The Putnam-Fischer controversy is a continuation of a 150-year long traditions in the interpersonal sciences to verify if community is declining or flourishing because the Industrial Wave. In short, the economic adjustments brought about by technology like equipment and electricity for the commercial revolution or television, digital components and computers for the Electronic/Computer Age are very moot and academic.

Quan-Haase and Wellman are essentially saying that it will have a natural decrease in the train business once automobiles change the old mode of travel just like once trains changed horses, and horses replaced walking. The natural decrease in the older technology since it is replaced by a newer technology does not necessarily represent a decline in social capital rather it simply represents a decline within an old technology. Meaning, fresh measures are simply needed to accurately determine cultural capital’s decline or progress.

And most most likely, social capital has grown speedily due to the new technology instead of its reverse or on the contrary perspective if these are reinforced with characters or certainly not. Quan-Haase and Wellman happen to be basically saying that Putnam’s facts and numbers didn’t in shape when interpersonal capital is definitely evaluated from a traditional perspective. Another worthy contention is that Sociable Capital features, on the contrary, swiftly grew.

Seeing that Putnam’s principles are too focused on the mature population, Putnam failed to foresee a growing trend among the young population getting active in social networks (Hargittai 280) and technical advancements providing suitable substitutes to face-to-face contact such as the web-camera, on the net team game playing across different geographic locations, broadband, and so forth Comparative Evaluations and Insights Putnam’s meaning of social capital and his idea of social network are essentially exemplified within a by-gone age. Initial, face-to-face encounters, physical activities, geographic cohesion plus the nature of jobs and therefore, productivity, have changed and therefore are constantly changing.

Second, Putnam’s view that just the adult population has the ability to of building sociable capital could be very limited. Third, social connections and civic engagements would have had changed into a different kind. Putnam placed the groundwork for his thesis with great leverage on Tocqueville’s observation of the Industrial Trend in America. This kind of groundwork made his argument shaky wonderful definition of interpersonal capital quite narrow, screwing up to recognize that societies, therefore social capital, in fact progress as new technologies look from the Caveman days, to the Straightener Age, for the Bronze Age and so forth. Cooperation, collaboration and productivity normally improve because new solutions appeared throughout history.

Hunting bands at this point became city cities with millions of citizens. Caves today became mega-structures of skyscrapers that residence thousands of humans. The good examples would be countless.

First, face-to-face encounters are actually possible across great geographic distances through video meeting, net meetings, and the like as teams of folks work together across different time zones and different countries. Social Networks and Social Networking are certainly not necessarily restricted to websites although could also include the other scientific tools that might facilitate connection, collaboration and cooperation. Therefore, Putnam’s social media, which has a regional flavor, has become global.

Moreover, several workers across the different U. S. Declares can now operate collaboratively and cooperatively. Moreover, leisure time in addition has taken new dimensions. When bowling institutions may no longer be in fashion since bowling is actually an individual sport rather than a staff sport, fresh forms of fun that encourage teamwork are now obtainable as online games.

Physical activities include likewise taken a new and robust meaning. Individuals will have a larger range of choices when, where, and with whom they will likely spend all their time with. Ticket reservations for holidays and other easygoing activities with groups of people now consider lesser the perfect time to execute. Of course , Putnam’s debate that trust in government offers declined, and this appears to be good, exemplifies a decrease in sociable capital,.

Yet from a unique angle a similar facts and figures would actually prove the on the contrary. Social Capital would have acquired in fact elevated because higher civic involvement is now likely through the benefits of television as well as the media. The fact that low trust in government is just saying that contemporary society is now more aware of what government is performing through television rather than by using a actual presence in a area hall. Furthermore, society has become more efficient throughout the membership fees derived from mailing lists because these types of huge cash can financial professional lobbyists that would maximize a person’s civic engagement.

A highly paid professional lobbyist with huge funds which represents a huge regular membership can do more compared to a group of specific amateurs symbolizing a small group of people in a community. Second, accurately because of internet sites and social networking, the youth are now positively involved in a variety of social activities online including collaborative tasks, group projects, net occasions, and on the web team sports. Third, cultural connections and civic sites to be have now transformed into a different form.

Group shows through the Internet are now conceivable among friends that are located at great geographic miles where they will view every single other’s faces. Downloading varieties and data from a government web page is now better compared to actually attending a town area meeting. In addition, social network sites are in reality populated simply by people who have previous physical links with one another instead of total other people. Conclusion Putnam appears to possess overlooked the consequences of the various economic transformations brought about by technology that transforms world during the course of history.

Thus, making his definition of social capital unresponsive to the changing occasions. However , this kind of paper finds that Putnam’s general meaning of social capital as referring “to the characteristics of a social organization including networks, rules, and social trust that facilitate skill and cooperation for common benefit” is accurate and sound. The finding with this paper is that Putnam’s drawback appears to have occurred in his annotation of the general definition. This exposition provided metes and bounds that are geographic in nature, physical in characteristics, and pits people who have already established prior social cable connections versus total strangers.

Migrations due to the characteristics of jobs, the highly evolved productivity of transfer systems, academic choices and suburban creation have essentially dispersed persons geographically. Social Network Sites basically strengthens these past social you possess. Most remarkable also is that technological advancements are now offering suitable alternatives that fix geographic and physical limitations making efficiency more efficient through better connection, cooperation, and collaboration.

The very best evidence with regards to facts and figures that social capital has certainly been piled up by online social networking is the phenomenal expansion and popularity of social network and networking sites. Another may be the exponential control volume growth on Craigs list. Of course , the only difference during these observations with Putnam’s definition is about how Putnam elaborated his tips.

He built his foot work and structure of understanding on a community and physical aspect that ultimately manufactured him not able to foresee the economic, and therefore social, conversions taking on a global flavor: that somehow, everyone is connected and affected with and by one more. This is the same reason why social engagements have also likewise used a worldwide opportunity in such organizations as Greenpeace and World Animals Fund and through foreign causes such as the fight against global warming and world hunger.

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