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A Qualitative Analysis of How and Why People Use Social Network Sites: A Cross-Cultural Comparison of Korea and the U.S.
Unformatted Document Text:  12 Americans and 8 from Koreans) were identified from the data. As a next step, eight superordinate categories (themes) for motivation and seven themes for usage strategy were generated. Then the categories were synthesized, looking to create a model that shows why and how people use Facebook differently in terms of motivations and usage patterns based on their cultural backgrounds. Figure 2 shows the model that describes how participants‘ cultural backgrounds influence their motivations and usage patterns of using Facebook. More specifically, the diagram shows how individuals‘ cultural backgrounds and their self-concepts (i.e., ―independent – Americans‖ and ―interdependent – Koreans‖) affect their motivations and strategies for using Facebook. Additionally, attitude toward Facebook, which is formed based on individuals‘ cultural background and previous experiences with other SNSs, also influences why and how they use Facebook. That is, depending on individuals‘ cultural background and previous experience with other SNSs, users can have positive or negative attitudes toward Facebook, and they could be either open-minded or close-minded toward Facebook, which in turn affects motivations and strategies for using Facebook. In terms of previous experience with other SNSs, one participant said: I was pretty much surprised by the fact that my American friends often write about very private stuff, even with pictures, which I never do. I don‘t want to make my private life public to everyone and give them a chance to judge my life (laughs). You know that, in Cyworld [Korean local SNS], there are lots of functions that restrict others from accessing my private information, pictures, and comments and I choose which people I share them with. But, as far as I know, there is no such function on Facebook, which makes me feel uncomfortable with publishing my private story. However, I feel that my American friends don‘t really care about posting something about their private life. Additionally, I feel that they aren‘t concerned about how others think about them. One reason I hesitate to talk about my personal story on Facebook is that I am sometimes afraid of what others would think about me when they see it.

Authors: Yoo, Jinnie.
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background image
 
12 
 
Americans and 8 from Koreans) were identified from the data. As a next step, eight 
superordinate categories (themes) for motivation and seven themes for usage strategy were 
generated. Then the categories were synthesized, looking to create a model that shows why and 
how people use Facebook differently in terms of motivations and usage patterns based on their 
cultural backgrounds.  
Figure 2 shows the model that describes how participants‘ cultural backgrounds influence 
their motivations and usage patterns of using Facebook. More specifically, the diagram shows 
how individuals‘ cultural backgrounds and their self-concepts (i.e., ―independent – Americans‖ 
and ―interdependent – Koreans‖) affect their motivations and strategies for using Facebook. 
Additionally, attitude toward Facebook, which is formed based on individuals‘ cultural 
background and previous experiences with other SNSs, also influences why and how they use 
Facebook. That is, depending on individuals‘ cultural background and previous experience with 
other SNSs, users can have positive or negative attitudes toward Facebook, and they could be 
either open-minded or close-minded toward Facebook, which in turn affects motivations and 
strategies for using Facebook. In terms of previous experience with other SNSs, one participant 
said:  
I was pretty much surprised by the fact that my American friends often write about very private 
stuff, even with pictures, which I never do. I don‘t want to make my private life public to everyone 
and give them a chance to judge my life (laughs). You know that, in Cyworld [Korean local SNS], 
there are lots of functions that restrict others from accessing my private information, pictures, and 
comments and I choose which people I share them with. But, as far as I know, there is no such 
function on Facebook, which makes me feel uncomfortable with publishing my private story. 
However, I feel that my American friends don‘t really care about posting something about their 
private life. Additionally, I feel that they aren‘t concerned about how others think about them. One 
reason I hesitate to talk about my personal story on Facebook is that I am sometimes afraid of what 
others would think about me when they see it. 
 


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