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NET AND JET

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How does the connectivity afforded by new communication and transportation technologies affect entrepreneurs' geographic and social closeness to each other? Using qualitative and quantitative evidence we analyse how Chinese Canadian entrepreneurs combine the Internet and airplane travel in their business activities. Our results show that the use of new communication and transportation technologies are positively related to the creation and maintenance of 'glocalized' networks, a function of both local embeddedness and global outreach. We find that online interaction cannot replace face-to-face interaction; travel abroad is crucial for adding a human touch to glocalized networks. Moreover, while technologies help to liberate communication from being local, Internet use and travel have limited impact on the ethnic diversity of the entrepreneurs' social networks.
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Keywords: Internet; computer-mediated communication; glocalized networks; social capital; social networks; travel

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Sociology, Duke University, Durham, NC, USA 2: Department of Sociology, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada

Publication date: June 1, 2009

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