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  • Introduction: What is Online Social Capital?

    Kane X. Faucher

    Chapter from the book: Faucher, K. 2018. Social Capital Online: Alienation and Accumulation.


    Online social capital exists within the broader digital environment of social media networks, their platforms, and their use of social buttons, all of which skews toward its accumulation as a kind of virtual wealth. This introduction outlines the problems associated with the pursuit of online social capital and its role in potentially increasing the alienation of social media users. Such users operate within an artificial economy in which social media companies acquire profit providing this platform for competitive accumulation. Indicating some definitional issues with the term of social capital, the introduction lays out the approach to the problem by stating the main purpose of online social capital: social networking sites (by design) function as a bridge between accumulation of online social capital and alienation that results from this activity, and this role is enabled by platform capitalism and the network spectacle. The introduction makes clear that book’s approach is neo-Marxist in orientation with its focus on alienation specifically and issues of exploitation more broadly.

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    How to cite this chapter
    Faucher, K. 2018. Introduction: What is Online Social Capital?. In: Faucher, K, Social Capital Online. London: University of Westminster Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.16997/book16.a

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    Additional Information

    Published on June 14, 2018