Social Capital Theory has a long-standing tradition in Sociology and allows to identify and summarize various facets of social cooperation [1]. The theory draws attention on the value individuals gain out of social relationships. The Internet and its media opens and changes the way we communicate, span geographical and time boundaries, supports new forms of interaction and enhances offline relationships [2,3]. However, the biggest challenge is to develop relationships that are characterized of trust and reciprocity in the absence of face-to-face contacts.

In our research, we investigated in which way (video-)mediated communication technologies hold potential for the development of valuable and beneficial relationships and, thus, allow to create social capital. We reflect on users’ experiences (e.g., social presence) and the role of a medium’s capability to convey non-verbal cues such as gestures.


[1] Diekmann,  A. 2007. Dimensionen des Sozialkapitals. In Sozialkapital. Grundlagen und Anwendungen, Markus Franzen, Axel; Freitag (Ed.). Vs Verlag Fu ̈r Sozialwissenschaften, 47–65.

[2] Haythornthwaite, C. 2005. Social networks and Internet connectivity effects. Information, Community & Society 8, 2 (2005), 125–147.

[3] Wellman, B., Quan Haase, A.,  Witte, J., and Hampton, K.. 2001. Does the Internet increase, decrease, or supplement social capital? Social networks, participation, and community commitment. American behavioral scientist 45, 3 (2001), 436–455.

Contact: Katja Neureiter

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Related Publications


Neureiter, Katja; Krischkowsky, Alina; Bruckenberger, Ulrike; Tscheligi, Manfred

Social Capital & Knowledge Exchange: Supporting Cooperation Online Inproceedings

Kapferer, Elisabeth; Koch, Andreas; Sedmak, Clemens (Ed.): Rethinking Social Capital, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2018.



Neureiter, Katja; Vollmer, Johannes; de Carvalho, Rebecca Luisa Gerwert Vaz; Tscheligi, Manfred

Starting up an E-Mentoring Relationship. A User Study Inproceedings

Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Communities and Technologies, 2017.



Neureiter, Katja; Moser, Christiane; Tscheligi, Manfred

Presence as influencing Factor for Social Capital Inproceedings

Proceedings of the Presence Conference, 2014.


Neureiter, Katja

The Potential of VMC Systems to Support Social Capital Inproceedings

Proceedings of the 18th ACM international conference on Supporting group work (GROUP '14), 2014.