Exploring online-offline social capital construction of the "Otaku" youth in Hong Kong

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 22 - Publication in policy or professional journal

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-270
Journal / PublicationMass Communication Research
Issue number112
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2012



Otaku is a Japanese term that refers to people with an obsessive interest in animation, comic books, and video games (ACG). This study investigates how the social capital of otaku youths is constructed in Hong Kong. Through focus-group interviews, we discovered that otaku youths were not an "invisible" group. Rather, their interest in ACG was expressed both online and offline. As "information elites," they were generous in the information-sharing process. Otaku youths were also found to adhere strictly to group norms when participating in forums, which creates a high level of trust in the virtual community. Hence, they tend to build "bonding social capital," more so than "bridging social capital," by connecting with other otakus online and offline.

Research Area(s)

  • Information elite, Interpersonal trust, Otaku, Social capital, The internet

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