The Medium Internet – Harming or Promoting Social Capital?

Term Paper, 2008

9 Pages, Grade: 1,33


Abstract or Introduction

While writing this essay, it became clear to me that our upcoming generation can hardly
imagine how this world looked like, before the triumph of the internet about ten years ago
turned our information-based society upside down. Internet has taken up an enormous speed
of growing, that justifies labeling it the Super Medium. Participation is easy and cheap; there
is not much technology or expertise necessary, while at the same time traditional forms of
media, such as print media, letters, or the telephone are all combined and readily available.
Pertaining to the course background of this paper, the networking component of this medium
obviously plays a central role. The Internet facilitates finding partners for any form of
interaction. Networking, furthermore, is possible on the societal and the individual level
which is a unique feature. These and many more characteristics call for a more detailed
examination of the internet with regards to Social Capital. Widespread research about this
relation has already been conducted, yet outcomes and interpretations vary drastically.
This paper will bring more order in this conflicting field by tackling the question whether the
internet has a positive or negative impact on Social Capital. Thus, first a precise definition of
Social Capital is provided. Followed by this, positive arguments about the internet are
presented and underpinned by existing research findings. The third section then focuses on
major refutations of the internet propagating Social Capital. Ultimately, a concise comparison
of both 'sides' shows that the positive impact of the internet overall prevails.


The Medium Internet – Harming or Promoting Social Capital?
Jacobs University Bremen gGmbH
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ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
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521 KB
medium, internet, harming, promoting, social, capital
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Anonymous, 2008, The Medium Internet – Harming or Promoting Social Capital?, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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