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To See and to Be Seen: Chinese White-Collar Workers' Interpretation of Microblogging and Social Capital

Xiaoqing Fan and Huan Chen
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Xiaoqing Fan: Minzu University of China, Beijing, China
Huan Chen: Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, Erie, PA, USA

International Journal of Interactive Communication Systems and Technologies (IJICST), 2014, vol. 4, issue 1, 1-14

Abstract: In recent years, microblogging has gained enormous popularity in China, especially among urban professional workers. This phenomenological study investigates how white-collar workers in China experience microblogging and how they perceive the impact of microblogging on their lives. Twenty in-depth face-to-face interviews were conducted in Beijing and Qingdao with young white-collar professionals who are active users of Sina Weibo and Tencent Weibo. The analysis revealed that by engaging in microblogging activities workers can increase their social capital. In addition, the results suggested that through microblogs white-collar professional users can not only increase their social capital at the individual level but also enhance it at the collective level. The authors conclude that information sharing and social interaction enabled through microblogging platforms empower Chinese white-collar workers and strengthen their social capital.

Date: 2014
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