Neighborhood Matters: The Impact of Resources on Online Participation of Warsaw Residents

Kamil Filipek, Ewa Lecka


This study examines the relationship between individual social capital and online participation in neighborhood of residents in a metropolitan city. Based on quantitative data collected through a modified version of the Resource Generator questionnaire among 9 063 residents of Warsaw, the impact of resources embedded in personal networks on online discussions on local issues is evaluated. It is found that resources in personal networks, perceived by  respondents as embedded but not mobilizable, negatively influence online talks focus on neighborhood. However, this impact turns into positive when they are able to mobilize resources available through social ties. Although some scholars suggest that social capital in the neighborhood declines, this study shows that neighbors remain considerable source of mobilizable resources affecting online discussions on local issues. Moreover, it is established that fact of being raised indigenously, relations with neighbors and trust in them may encourage urban residents to participate in neighborhood by discussing local issues online.


social capital; resources; neighborhood; online participation

Full Text:



Appel, L., Dadlani, P., Dwyer, M., Hampton, K. N., Kitzie, V., Matni, Z. A., … Teodoro, R. (2014). Testing the Validity of Social Capital Measures in th Study of Information and Communication Technologies. Information, Comunication and Society, 17(4), 398-416. doi: 10.1080/1369118X.2014.884612

Baborska-narozny, M., Stirling, E., & Stevenson, F. (2016). Exploring the Relationship Between a “Facebook Group” and Face-to- Face Interactions in “Weak - Tie” Residential Communities. In Proceedings of the 7th 2016 International Conference on Social Media & Society.

Bian, Y. (1997). Bringing Strong Ties Back in: Indirect Ties, Network Bridges , and Job Searches in China. American Sociological Review, 62(3), 366–385.

Carroll, J. M. (2012). The Neighborhood in the Internet : design research projects in community informatics. New York: Routledge.

Cramm, J. M., Van Dijk, H. M., & Nieboer, A. P. (2013). The importance of neighborhood social cohesion and social capital for the well being of older adults in the community. Gerontologist, 53(1), 142–150. doi: 10.1093/geront/gns052

Czapiński, J., & Panek, T. (2015). Social Diagnosis 2015. Warsaw. Retrieved from:

De Graaf, N. D., & Flap, H. D. (1988). With a Little Help from My Friends: Resources as an Explanation of Occupational Status and Income in West Germany, The Netherlands, and the United States. Social Forces, 67(2), 452–472.

Dohmen, R. L. (2012). Facebook: befriending and social capital. Social Cosmos, 3(2), 145–152.

Durlauf, S. N. (2002). Bowling Alone: A review essay. Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 47(3), 259–273. doi: 10.1016/S0167-2681(01)00210-4

Ellen, I. G., & Turner, M. A. (1997). Does Neighborhood Matter? Assessing Recent Evidence. Housing Policy Debate, 8(4).

Ellison, N. B., Steinfield, C., & Lampe, C. (2007). The Benefits of Facebook “Friends:” Social Capital and College Students’ Use of Online Social Network Sites. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 12(4), 1143–1168. doi: 10.1111/j.1083-6101.2007.00367.x

Ellison, N. B., Vitak, J., Gray, R., & Lampe, C. (2014). Cultivating Social Resources on Social Network Sites: Facebook Relationship Maintenance Behaviors and Their Role in Social Capital Processes. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 19(4), 855–870. doi: 10.1111/jcc4.12078

Farrell, S. J., Aubry, T., & Coulombe, D. (2004). Neighborhoods and neighbors: Do they contribute to personal well-being? Journal of Community Psychology, 32(1), 9–25. doi: 10.1002/jcop.10082

Fischer, C. S. (2005). Bowling Alone: What’s the Score? Social Networks, 27(2), 155–167. doi: 10.1016/j.socnet.2005.01.009

Galster, G. (2001). On the Nature of Neighbourhood. Urban Studies, 38(12), 2111–2124. doi: 10.1080/00420980120087072

Giddens, A. (1990). The Consequences of Modernity (First). Stanford: Stanford University Press.

Granovetter, M. (1974). Gettin a Job: A Study of Contacts and Careers. Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press.

Guaraldo Choguill, M. B. (1996). A ladder of community participation for underdeveloped countries. Habitat International, 20(3), 431–444. doi: 10.1016/0197-3975(96)00020-3

Hampton, K. (2007). Neighborhoods in the Network Society the e-Neighbors study. Information, Communication & Society, 10(5), 714–748. doi: 10.1080/13691180701658061

Karpf, D. (2015). Look at the Man Behind the Curtain: Computational Management in “Spontaneous” Citizen Political Campaigning. In G. Elmer, G. Langlois, & J. Redden (Eds.), Compromised Data: From Social Media to Big Data,. New York, London, New Delhi, Sydney: Bloomsbury Publishing Inc.

Keller, S. (1968). The Urban Neighborhood. A Sociological Perspective. New York: Random House.

Knobloch-Westerwick, S., & Meng, J. (2009). Looking the Other Way: Selective Exposure to Attitude-Consistent and Counterattitudinal Political Information. Communication Research, 36(3), 426–448. doi: 10.1177/0093650209333030

Kollock, P. (1999). The Economies of Online Cooperation: Gift Exchange and Public Goods in Cyberspace. In M. Smith, P. Kollock (Eds.), Communities in cyberspace. London: Routledge.

Kritzer, H. M. (1996). The Data Puzzle: The Nature of Interpretation in Quantitative Research. American Journal of Political Science, 40(1), 1–32. doi: 10.2307/2111692

Lewicka, M. (2005). Ways to make people active: The role of place attachment, cultural capital, and neighborhood ties. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 25(4), 381–395. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvp.2005.10.004

Lin, N. (1999). Building a Network Theory of Social Capital. Connections, 22(1), 28–51. doi: 10.1108/14691930410550381

Lin, N. (2001). Social Capital. A Theory of Social Structure and Action. Cambridge University Press.

Lin, N., Vaughn, J. C., & Ensel, W. M. (1981). Social Resources and Occupational Status Attainment. Social Forces, 59(4), 1163–1181. doi: 10.2307/2577987

Lindenberg, S. (1996). Continuities in the theory of social production functions. Verklarende Sociologie: Opstellen Voor Reinhard Wippler, (1989), 169–184.

Lipszyc, J. B. (2012). 300 tysięcy mieszkańców stolicy nie płaci jej podatków. Obserwator Finansowy (Online). Pobrane z:

Loader, B. D., Vromen, A., & Xenos, M. A. (Eds.). (2014). The Networked Young Citizen: Social Media, Political Participation and Civic Engagement (First). New York; London: Taylor & Francis. doi: 10.1080/1369118X.2013.871571

McGuire, G. M., & Bielby, W. T. (2016). The Variable Effects of Tie Strength and Social Resources: How Type of Support Matters. Work and Occupations, 43(1), 38–74. doi: 10.1177/0730888415596560

McMillan, D. W., & Chavis, D. M. (1986). Sense of community: A definition and theory. Journal of Community Psychology, 14(1), 6–23. doi: 10.1002/1520-6629(198601)14:1<6::AID-JCOP2290140103>3.0.CO;2-I

Mokken, R. J. (1971). A Theory and Procedure of Scale Analysis: With Application in Political Research. Mouton, The Hague, Paris: Mouton & Co.

Molyneux, L., Vasudevan, K., & Gil de Zúñiga, H. (2015). Gaming Social Capital: Exploring Civic Value in Multiplayer Video Games. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 20(4), 381–399. doi: 10.1111/jcc4.12123

Montgomery, J. D. (1992). Job Search and Network Composition : Implications of the Strength-Of-Weak-Ties Hypothesis. American Sociological Review, 57(5), 586–596. doi: 10.2307/2095914

Nie, N. H., & Hillygus, D. S. (2002). The Impact of Internet Use on Sociability: Time-Diary Findings. IT&Society, 1(1), 1–20.

Ormel, J. (2002). Social production function (SPF) theory as an heuristic for understanding developmental trajectories and outcomes. In L. Pulkkinen, & A. Caspi (Eds.), Paths to Succesful Development. Personality in the Life Course. Cambridge : Cambridge University Press

Paxton, P. (1999). Is Social Capital Declining in the United States? American Journal of Sociology, 105(1), 88–127. doi: 10.1086/210268

Portney, K. E., & Berry, J. M. (1997). Mobilizing Minority Communities: Social Capital and Participation in Urban Neighborhoods. American Behavioral Scientist, 40(5), 632–644. doi: 10.1177/0002764297040005009

Power, A., & Willmot, H. Social Capital within the Neighbourhood (2007).

Putnam, R. D. (2000). Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community. Igarss 2014. New York, London, Toronto, Syndey, Singapore: SIMON & SCHUSTER. doi: 10.1007/s13398-014-0173-7.2

Quan-Haase, A., & Wellman, B. (2002). How does the Internet Affect Social Capital. In M. Huysman, V. Wulf (Eds.), Social Capital and Information Technology (s. 113–131). Cambridge, London: MIT Press.

Rheingold, H. (1993). The Virtual Community. Homesteading on the Electronic Frontier. Reading, Massachusetts: Addison-Wesley

Skocpol, T. (1996). Unravelling from Above. The American Prospect, 25(7), 20–24.

Stark, D., & Bruszt, L. (1998). Postsocialist Pathways: Transforming Politics and Property in East Central Europe. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (First). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Sunstein, C. R. (2007). 2.0. 2.0. Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press. Pobrane z:

Sztompka, P. (1996). Trust and Emerging Democracy: Lessons from Poland. International Sociology, 11(1), 37–62. doi: 0.1177/026858096011001004

Sztompka, P. (2000). Trust: A Sociological Theory. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

de Tocqueville, A. (1998). Democracy in America, Chatham: Wordsworth.

Tseng, F.-C., Huang, H.-C., & Teng, C.-I. (2015). How Do Online Game Communities Retain Gamers? Social Presence and Social Capital Perspectives. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, n/a-n/a. doi: 10.1111/jcc4.12141

Van Der Ark, L. A. (2007). Mokken Scale Analysis in R. Journal of Statistical Software, 20(11), 1-19. doi: 10.18637/jss.v020.i11

Van Der Gaag, M. (2005). Measurement of individual social capital. Amsterdam: F&N Boekservices.

Van Der Gaag, M., & Snijders, T. (2001). Proposals for the Measurement of Individual Social Capital, 1–33.

Van Der Gaag, M., & Snijders, T. a. B. (2005). The Resource Generator: social capital quantification with concrete items. Social Networks, 27(1), 1–29. doi: 10.1016/j.socnet.2004.10.001

Wellman, B., Haase, A. Q., Witte, J., & Hampton, K. (2001). Does the Internet Increase , Decrease , or Supplement Social Capital ? American Behvioral Scientist, 45(3), 436–455.

Yakubovich, V., Earle, J., & Miller, S. (2005). Weak Ties , Information , and Influence : How Workers Find Jobs in a Local Russian Labor Market. American Sociological Review, 70(3), 408–421.

Yang, S., Kurnia, S., Lee, H., & Kim, S. (2008). Mobile Phones and Social Capital: A Preliminary Study in South. In Pacis 2008.

Zakus, J. D. L., & Lysack, C. L. (1998). Revisiting community participation. Health Policy and Planning. doi: 10.1093/heapol/13.1.1

Zwiers, M., Bolt, G., Van Ham, M., & Van Kempen, R. (2014). Neighborhood Decline and the Economic Crisis, (8749), 1–21.

Date of publication: 2020-11-19 19:44:12
Date of submission: 2020-06-08 19:55:00


Total abstract view - 780
Downloads (from 2020-06-17) - PDF - 254



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2020

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.