Title: Building social capital with mobile communication services

Authors: Juuso Karikoski; Kalevi Kilkki

Addresses: Department of Communications and Networking, Aalto University, P.O. Box 13000, 00076 Aalto, Finland ' Department of Communications and Networking, Aalto University, P.O. Box 13000, 00076 Aalto, Finland

Abstract: People may use different kinds of mobile communication services depending on if they are communicating with, for instance, friends, acquaintances or strangers. Thus, in this paper bonding and bridging social capital is studied in the context of two mobile communication services, short message services (SMSs) and voice calls. In Granovetter's terms, bridging social capital refers to communication with weak or absent ties, while bonding social capital refers to communication with strong ties. We find that both SMSs and voice calls are used for bonding and bridging social capital, but SMSs are used more for bonding purposes than voice calls. Furthermore, media multiplexity is more associated with bonding than bridging social capital. We also present a method for studying social capital in the context of other, newer mobile communication services, and present results of a pilot study. The implications of the results are discussed from a number of perspectives including communication research, social network analysis (SNA) and mobile operators.

Keywords: social capital; e-finance; electronic finance; social networks; bonding; bridging; strength of ties; short message service; SMS; mobile voice calls; handset-based measurements; ESM; experience sampling method; mobile communications; mobile services; m-services; communications research; social network analysis; SNA; mobile operators.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEF.2013.057277

International Journal of Electronic Finance, 2013 Vol.7 No.2, pp.115 - 131

Available online: 19 Oct 2013

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