NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED550466
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 167
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2678-2429-5
Babel or Great Wall: Social Media Use in an Acculturation Context
Zhang, Shaoke
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, The Pennsylvania State University
The era of globalization is marked by communications penetrating national or cultural boundaries in all sorts of areas. Unprecedented levels of mobilization or migration, and the boom of information communication technologies (ICTs) such as social media, which free people from the limitations of space and time, have been two highly salient features that are rapidly and irrevocably changing the world. They brought many new opportunities for learning and exchange as well as social problems and challenges. In the dissertation, I explored social media use in an acculturation context: Chinese students living in the United States. From an interview study of 20 participants, I collected 329 social media use activities. Based on these activities and existing use and gratification theories I developed a two-layer coding system of social media use, which evolved as the interview study went on. Furthermore, I explored these social media uses for acculturation processes. I identified two kinds of acculturation strategies: the Babel strategy, which refers to American identification efforts to get assimilated into new culture, and the Great Wall strategy, which refers to Chinese identification efforts to maintain their original self. I found that while social media helped students adapt to new culture through the uses such as maintaining weak tie and information surveillance, students extensively used Chinese social media to maintain their original self, through uses such as social bonding and social participation. Based on a questionnaire study of 253 Chinese students in America, I compared the use patterns among four kinds of social media: American SNS (e.g. Facebook), Chinese SNS (e.g. Renren), American microblogs (e.g. Twitter), and Chinese microblogs (e.g. Weibo). I further conducted a SEM model to explore how social media use would help cope with culture shock through different acculturation strategies: American identification, Chinese identification, and bicultural identity integration. This study expands existing HCI work on inter-cultural communication and collaboration activities toward consideration of acculturation strategies, online support for identity, and designing for individual development. The social media use work refines use and gratification theories in the context of different kinds of social media, which provide design representations for new media. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A