Author:
Szilárd Molnár BME-UNESCO Information Society and Trend Research Institute Budapest, Műegyetem rkpt. 9. H-1111

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While there is a common vision of fear of the Internet being the uniting medium of millions of isolated users, many studies reveal that Internet has a growing role in interpersonal communication, spending spare-time, performing work and utilizing various services. All this raises, with good reason, the question of how the Internet affects social contacts and social capital. We have analyzed the data originating from the Hungarian panel-research (TARKI-ITTK) of the second year of the World Internet Project, and have found that using the Internet does not reduce the level of individuals' social skills. On the contrary, we have concluded that among the users and non-users hailing from the same social background (age, gender and status) the users time and time again have higher sociability indices, that, in addition, rise in line with their time spent on the net. Results are encouraging in respect of users with low social capital, as the Internet seems to enable them to increase their social networks and social capital. However, to explain these findings, we still do have to research for the right answers.

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Review of Sociology
Language English
Year of
Foundation
2000
Publication
Programme
ceased
Founder A Magyar Szociológiai Társaság -- Hungarian Sociological Association
Founder's
Address
H-1097 Budapest, Hungary Tóth Kálmán u.4.
Publisher Akadémiai Kiadó
Publisher's
Address
H-1117 Budapest, Hungary 1516 Budapest, PO Box 245.
Responsible
Publisher
Chief Executive Officer, Akadémiai Kiadó
ISSN 1417-8648 (Print)
ISSN 1588-2845 (Online)