Weak tie matters for well-being: An examination of Chinese migrant workers’ personal network structure, social capital, and perceived social support

Piper Liping Liu, Tien Ee Dominic YEO

Research output: Chapter in book/report/conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

Abstract

Previous studies have examined the role of personal networks, social capital, and social support in one’s subjective well-being. However, there is a dearth of research on how personal networks are constructed by multimodal media use, and in turn, influence individuals’ well-being alongside other factors. This study examines Chinese internal migrant workers who exhibit dynamic network characteristics owing to their mobility. Through a survey of 504 Chinese internal migrant workers, this study found that WeChat and mobile phone calling intensity predicted bonding social capital, while bridging social capital was predicted only by QQ intensity. Two dimensions of personal networks —density and weighted tie multimodal connectedness (WTMC) – explained migrant workers’ well-being. Notably, perceived social support consistently predicted well-being outcomes and played a mediating role between tie proximity and well-being. Importantly, bridging social capital and weak-tie in the personal network were found to be strong and significant predictors of well-being, indicating migrant workers’ weak-tie support preference. The results provide a clearer understanding of the role of diverse media use in one’s personal network, and attendant influence on one’s social capital, social support, and well-being related outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 9th International Conference on Social Media and Society, SMSociety 2018
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Pages128-137
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9781450363341
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jul 2018
Event9th International Conference on Social Media and Society, SMSociety 2018 - Copenhagen, Denmark
Duration: 18 Jul 201820 Jul 2018

Publication series

NameACM International Conference Proceeding Series

Conference

Conference9th International Conference on Social Media and Society, SMSociety 2018
Country/TerritoryDenmark
CityCopenhagen
Period18/07/1820/07/18

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computer Networks and Communications

User-Defined Keywords

  • Chinese migrant worker
  • Media multiplexity
  • Personal network
  • Well-being

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