A cross-cultural evaluation of individualism and collectivism on communication strategies and social identity on online social media

Halder, M.M. ORCID: 0000-0002-1608-6027, 2016. A cross-cultural evaluation of individualism and collectivism on communication strategies and social identity on online social media. PhD, Nottingham Trent University.

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The increase of the use of social network sites (SNS) has given the opportunity for members from all cultures to maintain existing and establish new social connections and also create an online social identity for themselves. Such online communication has now become part of our daily lives, where members from individualist (independent) and collectivist (interdependent) cultures interact with each other. While past research has been successful in understanding the causal role of culture in an offline context which has affects social identity and psychological understanding and decisions members make, the evaluation of how culture effects human behaviour and their social identity in an online environment is limited.

This research aims to address this gap in literature by acknowledging the concept of Social Identity Model of Deindividuation Effect (SIDE) which posits that the level of anonymity in an online environment helps members to depersonalise, thereby helping in social identification of the self and facilitating online relationships and communication. This research particularly evaluates how cultural differences effects online communication, the decisions members making in various psychological outcomes and how if effects their social identities.

This will be achieved by a cross-cultural among Facebook members from individualist country (UK) and collectivist country (India and Indonesia) through a survey and priming experiments. While cultural orientation has been used as an independent variable in the study, psychological variables like online social identity, online self-enhancement, perceived online social support, online trust and online privacy concern has been used as the dependent variables in the study.

The research used a quantitative method approach which was divided into four studies. Study 1 (N = 150) and Study 2 (N = 432) consisted of the online study involving Facebook responses and Study 3 (N = 71) and Study 4 (N = 407) consisted of the priming experiments where cultural orientation was manipulated to check participant responses on various psychological outcome measures.

The results revealed that differences in participant responses existed among both cultures. Priming members with consistent cultural self-construal strengthened their scores on their cultural orientation and when members were primed with inconsistent cultural self-construal, it weakened their scores on their cultural orientation. The causal role of culture was established in some of the outcome measures that will be discussed further.

The results highlight the importance of understanding and acknowledging cultural differences of members using SNSs. This is not just crucial for health professionals trying to incorporate SNSs to implement care to patients, the results also highlight the important responsibility for web developers and network providers fighting privacy issues, online bullying. Additionally, the results are also crucial to social researchers as they try to understand online behaviour and to the members of SNSs itself to help prevent online tension.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: Halder, M.M.
Date: October 2016
Rights: This work is the intellectual property of the author. You may copy up to 5% of this work for private study, or personal, non-commercial research. Any re-use of the information contained within this document should be fully referenced, quoting the author, title, university, degree level and pagination. Queries or requests for any other use, or if a more substantial copy is required, should be directed to the owner(s) of the Intellectual Property Rights.
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 22 Sep 2017 08:02
Last Modified: 06 Sep 2021 13:59
URI: https://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/31658

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