The Increase in Human Capital through Sharing Images on Virtual Space

Wednesday, 13 July 2016: 10:15
Location: Hörsaal 23 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Abbas FAGHIH KHORASANI, University of Tehran, Iran
Mohammad Reza JAVADI YEGANEH, University of Tehran, Iran
Mohammad TAVAKOL, University of Tehran, Iran
It is clear that the virtual networks in Iran, compared with the classic media, is more reliable for citizens. That is because Iranian virtual media is less dependent to institutions and parties, and less controlled by the authorities. In this article we discuss the reasons behind publishing photos in Instagram.

Inspired by Bourdieu, we use the notion of capital to explain this phenomenon and expand the concept in our analysis. Being a member of Instagram, one can increase his or her capital. We propose two notions of capital; “Real Capital” and “Virtual Capital”. “Virtual Capital” could of course lead, in a way, to increasing “Real Capital”. We call, then, the sum of the two as “Total Capital”.

One can make the capital in the virtual society through “false codes”, the notion we may theorize under “virtual social association”. This effect can be made at another level by the aggregation of these images in the media through hashtagging. 

Construction of the ideal physical and cultural capital in the virtual world through a “manipulate identity” could increase the virtual social association and consequently the economic capital. We define the virtual capital in terms of “like” symbol in Instagram. “Like” is the objectified form of virtual capital where strict social structures do not let abrupt increase, a jump, in the person’s real capital.                                                                                                                                                 

Our findings are resulted from a survey with sampling of 384 members of Instagram in Iran. The results indicate that people increase their capital by being present in the virtual communities.  It is also shown that their behavior in their pages is different from the real world