The purpose of this paper is to examine the use of social network sites (SNSs) from a qualitative methodological approach, looking at both Asian and Western countries. There has been growing interest in systematic analysis of the use of SNSs as such sites have become increasingly popular, global means of self-expression and forming social connections. However, most previous research into SNSs has been based in a single cultural context, with very few cross-cultural studies having been conducted. To address this lacuna, this study compares SNS users in Korea with those in the United States, specifically examining the nature of their SNS social relationships and their attitudes toward self-disclosure via SNS. Using semi-structured focus interviews, our research provides qualitative data-based analysis of the culture-specific effects that new social media has on communication. Our study demonstrates that a qualitative method is useful when examining the cultural differences that appear in online communication behavior designed to establish social relationships and to compose content, and further indicates that cultural differences may have considerable influence on SNS users’ attitudes towards SNSs and on their communication style. This study thus contributes to existing literature by advancing the research into a broader, inter-cultural sphere.
Quality & Quantity – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 10, 2012
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