Proceeding

Building Communities, Bridging Divides: Community Technology Centers and Social Capital

2018 Yale M. Braunstein Student Prize Award Winner

Author

  • Jenna Grzeslo, Ph.D. Student, Pennsylvania State University, USA

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Abstract

This paper explores the use of community technology centers (CTCs) by U.S. adults. In this context, CTCs are broadly defined as public, not for profit facilities where individuals can access the internet and information communication technologies, the most common of which are public libraries. Furthermore, CTCs are a junction where technology usage and community participation can occur concurrently. Two rounds of data collection using Amazon Mechanical Turk (n = 585) and a Qualtrics Survey Panel (n = 330) were used to develop a unique measure of social capital generated at CTCs. Through multiple regression analyses, this study identifies that the activities completed at CTCs but not the frequency of attendance are associated with higher levels of community technology center social capital (CTCSC), or rather the feelings of trust and reciprocity captured by our measure.

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