عنوان مقاله [English]
نویسندگان [English]چکیده [English]
This paper attempts to answer two questions: 1- is there a relationship between individuals’ social capital in the real and virtual worlds? ; And, 2- if yes, what is the nature of such relationship? Is it of reflexive type or of that of complementary? In recent years a good bulk of research has turned its focus on the content of social capital and sociologists have investigated various dimensions of this issue. On the other hand, virtual world, has facilitated communication, and bloomed drastically. Some researchers believe that individuals’ social capital in real and virtual worlds are mutually related and such a relationship is at times complementary and at others is in odds with the other. In other words, there is a reflexive relationship and those individuals who enjoy a high social capital in their ordinary everyday lives regarding the volume of communicative network, the degree of social trust, support, etc., also enjoy the same and high level of social capital in their virtual network. This is as if their virtual world is reflexive of their real world. On the contrary, some believe that this relationship is a complementary one in the sense that those individuals who, for whatever reasons, enjoy a low social capital in their everyday lives, attempt to acquire a high social capital in their virtual world. This means the virtual world would compensate for and/or is complementary of their weaknesses and shortcomings in their real world. To answer the preceding questions, we have used the theories of sociologists such as those of Barry Wellman, David Nood, Jele Attema, and Howard Rheingold to create a theoretical framework that would better address our problematic. Also, we used a social survey using a sample of 384 individuals from Esfahan city selected through two stages sampling i.e. random and stratified sampling. The sample was selected from individuals of 15 to 24 years of age using net-caffes in Isfahan in 2011. Our findings indicate that: social capital of the participants in both real and virtual worlds is low (below the average); the extent of their social capital in real world and that of the virtual one are proportionally related; there is a direct and significant relationship between their social capital in the real world and that of the virtual one though this relationship is not robust; the direct and positive relationship between the individuals’ social capital in the real world and that of the virtual world is indicative of a type of reflexive relationship and therefore the findings support the theories of Rheingold and Attema.