A Comparison of Online and Offline Social Participation Impacts on Generalized Trust

Željko Pavić, Antun Šundalić


Generalized trust, which arguably follows from civic participation, brings positive consequences with regard to the individual and social goal attainment. Since sociability, especially when it comes to the young people, is increasingly exercised on the Internet, the main goal of this research paper was to set side by side the impacts of online (SNS) and offline social participation on the generalized trust. Research questions are explored by means of a field survey conducted on a sample of research participants aged between 18 and 35 years. The results indicate that the membership in civic organizations is associated with higher levels of social trust, whereas the participation in Internet social networking sites (SNSs) does not show this association. The results also revealed that civic activity on SNSs is not independently associated with generalized trust. These results are interpreted by evoking structural and motivational characteristics of online and offline social networks. In addition to the main research questions elaboration, socio-demographic predictors of generalized trust are also discussed.


social capital; generalized trust; Internet social networking sites

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13136/isr.v6i2.131

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