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‘Caring capital’ is that subset of social capital characterized by caregiving, charity and compassion when these actions are given out of a concern for the welfare of others. The relationship between caring and various forms of capital has scarcely been noticed by social scientists, either theoretically or empirically. After reviewing the concepts of caring and capital, 77 websites related to caring capital were analyzed to explore these types of questions: How large, influential and effective is the care-oriented sector of the web? How is it best to categorize the diversity of websites promoting caring capital? What social or interactive and user-generated opportunities are offered by these web sites? What implications for the future do these web organizations have? While we cannot offer any definitive answer to the question of the potential of the Internet for facilitating caring capital, this study's glimpse of the web finds only minimal charitable activity compared to the huge need for greater compassionate caring at both individual and organizational levels.
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Keywords: community informatics; cyberculture; organizational studies; social media; social movements; social networking

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Sociology,University of Minnesota, 663 BushawayWayzata,MN,55391, USA

Publication date: May 1, 2012

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