In this paper, we seek to explain (1) how the rise of Internet communication is related to the level of social capital and (2) the role of internet and social capital in shaping civic engagement in Asia. We use cross-national public opinion data of thirteen Asian countries from 2010 to 2012 to investigate these questions. Our results show that social capital is still measured best by traditional membership in social organizations. While the Internet increases social contacts, we could not find evidence that social capital is directly increased by the Internet. We also find that social capital developed through voluntary participation in social organizations most effectively promotes civic engagement activities, except for non-electoral actions that involve joining a demonstration or using violence. Internet usage turns out to be the most effective means of civic engagement for these cases.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was in part supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (Grant NRF-2013S1A3A2055081). Min-hua Huang, Taehee Whang and Lei Xuchuan are listed in alphabetical order. Min-hua Huang, Taehee Whang and Lei Xuchuan have equally contributed to this article.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Sociology and Political Science
- Social Sciences(all)