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Exploring gender issues within social capital and Facebook use: a qualitative approach

Hambelton, Emma (2014) Exploring gender issues within social capital and Facebook use: a qualitative approach. Manchester Metropolitan University. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

The research aimed to explore the role of the social networking site Facebook in the creation and maintenance of social capital for young men and women. The study took a qualitative approach to discover individual’s personal experiences; semi-structured interviews were used to collect data and the method of data analysis was thematic analysis. Six participants were interviewed for the research, three males and three females. From the interviews four themes were discovered: strength of relationships, convenient communication, gendered Facebook use and observable vs. unobservable use. Facebook was found to initiate and maintain bridging capital whilst also maintaining bonding capital, particularly for individuals not in physical contact with close relationships. Gendered behaviours on Facebook were also discovered and discussed as well as a possible link between observable and unobservable behaviours and active and passive engagement with Facebook. Limitations and suggestions for future research are discussed within.

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