Virtual Civil Society in the United States and Australia

Russell J. Dalton, Miki Kittilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Although many scholars agree that social interactions within traditional social groups build social capital, there is less consensus on the benefits of virtual interactions on the Internet. The authors compare the activity of Americans and Australians based on a common battery of social network interaction questions. Their findings suggest that virtual social interactions foster many of the same positive social capital traits for citizenship norms and political participation that are produced by traditional in-person social networks. Thus, social networking and virtual interaction have the potential to generate new stocks of social capital in contemporary democracies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11-29
Number of pages19
JournalAustralian Journal of Political Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2012


  • Internet
  • citizenship norms
  • civil society
  • political participation
  • social capital
  • social networks
  • virtual interaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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