Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Online and offline social participation and social poverty traps. Can social networks save human relations?

Antoci, Angelo and Sabatini, Fabio and Sodini, Mauro (2014): Online and offline social participation and social poverty traps. Can social networks save human relations?

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Abstract

In this study, we develop an evolutionary game model to analyse how human relations evolve in a context characterised by declining face-to-face interactions and growing online social participation. Our results suggest that online networks may constitute a coping response allowing individuals to “defend” their social life from increasing busyness and a reduction in the time available for leisure. Internet-mediated interaction can play a positive role in preventing the disruption of ties and the weakening of community life documented by empirical studies. In this scenario, the digital divide is likely to become an increasingly relevant factor of social exclusion, which may exacerbate inequalities in well-being and capabilities.

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