Date Approved

11-7-2013

Date Posted

4-7-2014

Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminology

Committee Member

Dr. Robert Orrange

Committee Member

Dr. Solange Simoes

Abstract

This research sought to understand the dynamics of latent network structures – what they look like in action, how the social forces within function, and how ties within such a structure may develop. Relying on initial theory developed by Caroline Haythornthwaite (2005), incorporates empirical observations to elaborate upon network latency. Carrying out the research in a virtual community known as 4chan, a survey approach was first undertaken (N = 768) and then followed up with semi-structured interviews (N = 29). The sense of community index, version 2 (SCI-2), measured social capital exchange while cultural and symbolic capital measured participation in the forum and accumulation of images. Findings suggest the presence of an aggregate community structure and decreased importance of social capital, and provide additional support for a latent model. Evidence also suggests that social capital has a less powerful impact on the network, with cultural capital gaining importance.

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Sociology Commons

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