Social capital and risk behaviors: Untangling the relationships between the online and offline world.

01 January 2019 → Ongoing
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
  • Social sciences
    • Causes and prevention of crime
    • Safety, prevention and police
social capital crime social cohesion offline online risk behaviors
Project description

Today, social capital is not limited to face-to-face contacts (offline social capital), but also includes
social networks on the internet (online social capital). The present project focuses on the
association between online/offline social capital and online/offline risk behaviors, both at the
individual and neighborhood level. Five types of risk behaviors are distincted, which can occur both
offline and offline: (1) sexual risks; (2) health risks; (3) contact related risks; (4) economic related
risks; and (5) privacy related risks. For the latter three types of risks we focus on victimization as well
as perpetration.
Surprisingly, no attention yet has been paid to the mutual influence of online/offline social capital
on online/offline risk behaviors. At this moment, it is unclear which type of risk behavior affects the
other and which aspects of social capital (individual/community, online/offline, bonding/bridging,
etc.) are linked with online/offline risk behavior. Therefore, longitudinal representative data about
socio-economic characteristics, social capital and risk behaviors will be collected among 2000
inhabitants of 50 neighborhoods in Ghent, Belgium.