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Vitak, J., Ellison, N. (2013)
"There's a network out there you might as well tap": Exploring the benefits of and barriers to exchanging informational and support-based resources on Facebook
New Media & Society, 15, 243-259. doi: 10.1177/1461444812451566

Research has established a positive relationship between Facebook use and perceptions of social capital, a construct that describes the total resources ? both potential and actual ? available in one's social network. However, the process through which social capital conversions occur is unclear. This study presents results from semi-structured interviews with 18 adult Facebook users (ages 25 to 55) about their Facebook use, focusing on how participants use the site to request and provide social support (associated with bonding social capital) and information (associated with bridging social capital). Findings describe how Facebook use facilitates interactions related to social capital and users' beliefs about the potential negative outcomes of these interactions, providing insight into how users negotiate potential benefits and risks when making decisions about site use.

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