Social authority building is the process of developing a reputation of being knowledgeable or an authority in one or more domains. The mainstream press and nonmainstream media, such as social media channels, are commonly referred to as the fourth and fifth estates of society, respectively, due to their ability to wield influence as social authorities. This entry first considers two key aspects to building social authority, namely, making social connections or networks and gaining authority. It then discusses social authority building using media.

Social Networks

Multiple benefits derive from the act of connecting with other social actors. Using political scientist Benedict Anderson’s Theory of imagined communities, the points of the social network where its paths meet or intersect form the cognitive borders of the group to which ...

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