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Studying the social effects of the Internet with a “magnifying glass” Sorin A. Matei
[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],The “social effects of the Internet” seen in  relationship with the digital divide
Problem ,[object Object],[object Object],[object Object]
Re-framing the questions ,[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object]
Two pronged approach ,[object Object],[object Object]
The individual approach ,[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object]
Empirical evidence for magnification effects ,[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object]
Belonging Mass Communication On-line connections Metamorphosis research strategy Chinese Greater Monterey Park Mexican East LA Caucasian South Pasadena Korean Greater Koreatown Caucasian Westside African-American Greater Crenshaw Central American Pico Union Bilingual Telephone Interviews 1812 Households
Some empirical evidence – Metamorphosis  ,[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object]
Community level effects in Metamorphosis study ,[object Object],[object Object]
Group effects at national level ,[object Object],[object Object]
GSS 2000 Internet module ,[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object]
Further research questions ,[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object]
Further research questions ,[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object]
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Social capital theory ,[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object]
Generalized reciprocity: main resource for generating social capital ,[object Object],[object Object],[object Object]
Extending social capital theory to studying the social impact of communication technology ,[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object]
SCT implications for studying the Internet ,[object Object],[object Object],[object Object]
The broad research question ,[object Object]
The need for a dual level of analysis strategy ,[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object]
More specific research questions ,[object Object],[object Object]
Individual-level side of the question ,[object Object],[object Object]
Belonging Index captures level of social capital at individual level – assumes trust and generalized reciprocity ,[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],Cronbach alpha .8
The question, again, is… ,[object Object]
Analysis: logistic regression ,[object Object],[object Object],[object Object]
Logistic regression results ,[object Object],[object Object]
Midway conclusions ,[object Object],[object Object]
Switching levels of analysis ,[object Object],[object Object]
Study started as part of an undergraduate research methods class Paper presented in Maastricht, at the 3rd Conference of Internet researchers, under review at the Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media Methodology Using states as units of analysis:  Do states with higher capacity for producing social capital generate more on-line sociability?
Operationalizing “on-line sociability” ,[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object]
Analysis ,[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object]
Clubs per 100,000 inhabitants dependent variable
Main predictor variable ,[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object]
% Yes “Most people can be trusted”
Co-variates (controls) ,[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object]
Results The higher the social capital, the more numerous the groups The more homogeneous the population, the more numerous the groups Adjusted R 2 =.18 .01 -2.546 -.420 .032 -.08 Percent population foreign born .02 2.285 .327 .014 0.03 % Yes: Most people can be trusted     β Std. Error B p t Standardized Coefficients Unstandardized Coefficients  
Follow-up analysis ,[object Object],[object Object],[object Object]
Follow up analysis results Dependent variable: Yahoo! groups per 100,000 Adjusted R-square = . 12 The more numerous the non-profit organizations, the more numerous the on-line groups The more homogeneous the population, the more numerous the groups -- ns
Conclusions ,[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object]
Practical implications ,[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object]
Practical implications ,[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object]
The road from here… ,[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object]
 
How does the Internet/media interact with our social contexts? ,[object Object],[object Object],[object Object]
[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object]
[object Object],[object Object]
Belonging and new/old media connectedness: a communication infrastructure model Connections to Community Organizations Local/Community   Media Connections Participation in Interpersonal Storytelling   BELONGING Internet  connection Mainstream   Mass Media Connections 1.8 1.7 5.6 1.4 1.6 Metamorphosis study: English-speaking samples 1.4
On-line sociability predicted by belonging ( dv: “Have you ever met someone on-line you consider a personal friend?”) Variable  B  S.E.  Wald  Sig  Exp(B) BELONGING  .0639  .0296  4.6612  .0309  1.0660   GENDER  .5391  .3013  3.2019  .0736  1.7144   AGE  -.0095  .0143  .4344  .5098  .9906 EDUC  .1811  .1156  2.4549  .1172  1.1985 INCOME  -.1030  .0863  1.4238  .2328  .9021 IMMIG.GEN.  -.1362  .1296  1.1045  .2933  .8727 KOREATOWN  3.2065  1.3314  5.7996  .0160 24.6915 KOREAN/BELONG.-.1231  .0702  3.0737  .0796  .8842 CRENSHAW  .2197  .5752  .1459  .7025  1.2457 ELA  -1.2143  .8942  1.8441  .1745  .2969 MONTEREY PARK  .5827  .5824  1.0010  .3171  1.7908 WESTSIDE  .1334  .5405  .0609  .8051  1.1427 PICO UNION  -.5566  .8220  .4586  .4983  .5731
Operationalizing “Intensity of on-line activity” ,[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object]
Results Curvilinear relationship between trust and weighted average group activity Sparser populated states generate more active clubs Adjusted R 2 =.21 .012 -2.637 -2.634 .000 -.0007 % Answered Yes “Most people can be trusted” squared .028 2.292 2.277 .023 0.05 % Answered Yes “Most people can be trusted” .065 -1.905 -.315 .000 -0.0003 Population density     Beta Std. Error B   Sig. t Standardized Coefficients Unstandardized Coefficients  
Curvilinear relationship between trust and on-line activity
Curvilinearity of relationship between trust and activity mirrored by that between off-line involvement and on-line involvement

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The Internet is a magnifying glass

  • 1. Studying the social effects of the Internet with a “magnifying glass” Sorin A. Matei
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  • 8. Belonging Mass Communication On-line connections Metamorphosis research strategy Chinese Greater Monterey Park Mexican East LA Caucasian South Pasadena Korean Greater Koreatown Caucasian Westside African-American Greater Crenshaw Central American Pico Union Bilingual Telephone Interviews 1812 Households
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  • 37. Study started as part of an undergraduate research methods class Paper presented in Maastricht, at the 3rd Conference of Internet researchers, under review at the Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media Methodology Using states as units of analysis: Do states with higher capacity for producing social capital generate more on-line sociability?
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  • 40. Clubs per 100,000 inhabitants dependent variable
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  • 42. % Yes “Most people can be trusted”
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  • 44. Results The higher the social capital, the more numerous the groups The more homogeneous the population, the more numerous the groups Adjusted R 2 =.18 .01 -2.546 -.420 .032 -.08 Percent population foreign born .02 2.285 .327 .014 0.03 % Yes: Most people can be trusted     β Std. Error B p t Standardized Coefficients Unstandardized Coefficients  
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  • 46. Follow up analysis results Dependent variable: Yahoo! groups per 100,000 Adjusted R-square = . 12 The more numerous the non-profit organizations, the more numerous the on-line groups The more homogeneous the population, the more numerous the groups -- ns
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  • 55. Belonging and new/old media connectedness: a communication infrastructure model Connections to Community Organizations Local/Community Media Connections Participation in Interpersonal Storytelling BELONGING Internet connection Mainstream Mass Media Connections 1.8 1.7 5.6 1.4 1.6 Metamorphosis study: English-speaking samples 1.4
  • 56. On-line sociability predicted by belonging ( dv: “Have you ever met someone on-line you consider a personal friend?”) Variable B S.E. Wald Sig Exp(B) BELONGING .0639 .0296 4.6612 .0309 1.0660 GENDER .5391 .3013 3.2019 .0736 1.7144 AGE -.0095 .0143 .4344 .5098 .9906 EDUC .1811 .1156 2.4549 .1172 1.1985 INCOME -.1030 .0863 1.4238 .2328 .9021 IMMIG.GEN. -.1362 .1296 1.1045 .2933 .8727 KOREATOWN 3.2065 1.3314 5.7996 .0160 24.6915 KOREAN/BELONG.-.1231 .0702 3.0737 .0796 .8842 CRENSHAW .2197 .5752 .1459 .7025 1.2457 ELA -1.2143 .8942 1.8441 .1745 .2969 MONTEREY PARK .5827 .5824 1.0010 .3171 1.7908 WESTSIDE .1334 .5405 .0609 .8051 1.1427 PICO UNION -.5566 .8220 .4586 .4983 .5731
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  • 58. Results Curvilinear relationship between trust and weighted average group activity Sparser populated states generate more active clubs Adjusted R 2 =.21 .012 -2.637 -2.634 .000 -.0007 % Answered Yes “Most people can be trusted” squared .028 2.292 2.277 .023 0.05 % Answered Yes “Most people can be trusted” .065 -1.905 -.315 .000 -0.0003 Population density     Beta Std. Error B   Sig. t Standardized Coefficients Unstandardized Coefficients  
  • 59. Curvilinear relationship between trust and on-line activity
  • 60. Curvilinearity of relationship between trust and activity mirrored by that between off-line involvement and on-line involvement