Document Type : Scientific Research Manuscript


1 Associate Professor in Communications, University of Tehran

2 M.A in Social Communications


This paper will attempt to offer a set of indicators that together construct a model which will help to measure social capital among users of social networks. The world is now experiencing some new changes that are affecting conceptual equations in social sciences, two of which are of our concern here: 1- the concept of social capital that has opened its way into epistemological basis of social sciences, and; 2- the world has welcomed the birth and development of social networks in our daily life, affecting many aspects of social actions. There is Facebook from among a handful of social networks that has reached the threshold of international networking capacity with roughly one billion users. We will use Robert Putnam's theory of social capital alongside Frank's methodological innovation regarding measuring tools of social capital in order to create a marriage between these two as well as to address a yet more problematizing issue, i.e., how to measure social capital of the Facebook users. Accordingly the paper will focus on Facebook as the field of research and will introduce triangulation approach that we used in order to come up with the set of indicators. Participatory observation and online survey were used as constructing elements of triangulation approach so to generate the necessary data for the above purpose. At first, we used participatory observation through which 14 targeted samples were selected and whatever they had in their profile in Facebook were collected and analyzed. This analysis helped us to construct our questionnaire which was launched through Google docs. In the end, some 218 respondent returned their completed questionnaires. The final stage of analysis consisted of finding out how we can use the results to offer a new tool for measuring social capital of Facebook users. The research findings indicated that there are 10 indicators which should be put together if social capital is to be properly measured.