Social Capital in a Virtual Community

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Despite the fact that the influence of virtual reality has made the world even smaller than before, it also leads to ‘new order’ and ‘digital divide’. Virtual reality has become an increasingly important community for people who possess technological literacy. Therefore, this article attempts to study the characteristics of social capital in virtual community from the case study of the website http://gotoknow.org. Based on findings, it was found that there was no significant difference between weekday users and weekend users. But interestingly, five characteristics influencing the social capital in virtual community were discovered. They were Network Participation, Reciprocal Benefits, Trustworthy, Norms and the Sense of Belonging in virtual space. It can be best argued that the users feel that they are virtual community members; therefore, they feel that they belong to the space. Based on reciprocal benefits, they often use this space to construct their group identity by giving some privileges to other members such as constructive comments, useful information and relevant messages. Undeniably, those who are network participants remain unidentified hence, they agreed to establish some exclusive norms, rules and regulations. Anyone who fails to abide by such norms will be forcefully asked to leave the space. Since network participants still remain anonymous, trust is a problematic concept.


Keywords: Virtual Reality, Social Capital, Virtual Community, Internet Network
Stream: Anthropology, Archaeology, Cultural Studies, Humanities
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Attaphol Wachirasirodom

Teaching Assistant, Faculty of Management Science, Silpakorn University
Bangkok, Thailand

I'm graduated bachelor of Arts Program in Community Management from Silpakorn University, Thailand 2004-07)with second class honors. I work at faculty of Management Science in the position of Teaching Assistant at department of community management. I'm very interested in social development,so my research were study about virtual reality and social capital. In my nation social capital was very important so it can make good thing in social that peacefulness come true. Therefore,I plan to study in field of Public Administration because I want to learn more about local administration it can improve my country in many way I can adapt.

Ref: I08P0237