Are Regional Communities Communicating, Developing Social Capital and Tapping Into the Network Society? Reflections and Considerations from a Qualitative Community Study

Joy Chia

Abstract


When organisations communicate and engage with their communities they have an
opportunity to connect, develop relationships and networks important to their social capital development.This paper focuses on a qualitative researcher’s perspective where regional communities tap into online networks and develop some new relationships, primarily at the local level, as face-to face networking continues to be valued and important to their social capital. A qualitative study of three regional communities suggests that regional communities localise communication; social media plays a role in initial or transitory connections. This paper argues that as regional communities tap into social media and develop online networks these
networks supplement their social capital primarily at a local level, thereby
strengthening existing networks- there is little evidence of regional communities
connecting and networking outside of their communities.


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The University of Newcastle
ISSN - 1839-8227