English title: Social Capital in Media Societies: The Impact of Media Use and Media Structures on Social Capital

Author(s): Sarah Geber - Helmut Scherer - Dorothee Hefner -

Language: English

Type: Journal article

Year: 2016


Social capital refers to the resources inherent in social relationships; it is considered the foundation of economic, political, and social development. To explore the media’s impact on social capital, we analyze the impact of media consumption at the individual level and the effects of media system structures at the national level. Multilevel analyses were computed using individual data from the European Social Survey and national data on media structures. The results indicate that Internet use and informational media use increase social capital. Moreover, societies seem to benefit from open, free, and pluralistic media systems as they support the production of social capital. In sum, we argue for a dissociation from a culturally pessimistic, one-sided point of view when discussing media effects. In today’s societies, media imply potential rather than restrictions.

Volume: 78

Issue: 6

From page no: 493

To page no: 513

Refereed: Yes

DOI: 10.1177/1748048516640211

Journal: International Communication Gazette

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