Communities Going Virtual: Examining the Roles of Online and Offline Social Capital in Pandemic Perceived Community Resilience-Building

Xiaochen Angela Zhang, Yoon Hi Sung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Pandemics overthrow our fundamental understanding of social capital and perceived community resilience-building. Social capital, the very source of support and resources during natural disasters to build resilience, has become a source of danger during pandemics. Applying communication ecology as a theoretical framework, this study uncovers the role of social media in connecting social capital and perceived community resilience in the COVID-19 pandemic. Two online surveys were conducted at two different times of the pandemic to examine how people’s virtual social capital and social media engagement, compared with offline social capital, is associated with perceived community resilience. Findings indicate that, at the beginning of the pandemic, both bonding and bridging social capital, online and offline, were associated with community resilience perceptions. However, months into the pandemic, bonding social capital on social media was the only social capital resource associated with community resilience perceptions. Social media engagements were found to be critical for linking social media social capital and perceived community resilience.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)539-565
Number of pages27
JournalMass Communication and Society
Volume26
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Mass Communication & Society Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication

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