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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:  15 using Facebook. Table 1 shows the themes and concepts developed in this study. Insert Table 1 Here Motivations with an Independent View of the Self In many Western cultures, there is a faith in the inherent separateness of distinct persons. The normative imperative of this culture is to become independent from others and to discover and express one‘s unique attributes (Johnson, 1985). Achieving the cultural goal of independence requires construing oneself as an individual whose behavior is organized and made meaningful primarily by reference to one‘s own internal repertoire of thoughts, feelings, and action. This view of self gives rise to processes like ―self-actualization,‖ ―realizing oneself,‖ ―expressing one‘s unique configuration of needs, rights, and capacities,‖ or ―developing one‘s distinct potential.‖ (Markus & Kitayama, 1991). As suggested by reference to this theoretical background, the motivations for using Facebook among American participants were associated with the independent view of self. Specifically, their motivations for using Facebook were focused on ―maintaining social network‖, ―expressing self,‖ ―satisfying own needs,‖ or ―promoting own goals.‖ Four core motivational themes were found for participants with independent views of self. The first theme was ―To manage social network.‖ Most of the American participants answered they use Facebook to maintain their social network. Particularly, this theme included three lower- level concepts of ―To make new friends,‖ ―To contact old friends,‖ and ―To meet people with similar interests.‖ They think Facebook can be a useful tool to broaden their social network and, at the same time, to keep in touch with their old friends. However, the American participants did not reveal a strong sense of belonging to their Facebook networks or groups. Most of the

Authors: Yoo, Jinnie.
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15 
 
using Facebook. Table 1 shows the themes and concepts developed in this study.  
Insert Table 1 Here 
 
Motivations with an Independent View of the Self  
In many Western cultures, there is a faith in the inherent separateness of distinct persons. 
The normative imperative of this culture is to become independent from others and to discover 
and express one‘s unique attributes (Johnson, 1985). Achieving the cultural goal of independence 
requires construing oneself as an individual whose behavior is organized and made meaningful 
primarily by reference to one‘s own internal repertoire of thoughts, feelings, and action. This 
view of self gives rise to processes like ―self-actualization,‖ ―realizing oneself,‖ ―expressing 
one‘s unique configuration of needs, rights, and capacities,‖ or ―developing one‘s distinct 
potential.‖ (Markus & Kitayama, 1991).  
As suggested by reference to this theoretical background, the motivations for using 
Facebook among American participants were associated with the independent view of self. 
Specifically, their motivations for using Facebook were focused on ―maintaining social 
network‖, ―expressing self,‖ ―satisfying own needs,‖ or ―promoting own goals.‖  
Four core motivational themes were found for participants with independent views of self. 
The first theme was ―To manage social network.‖ Most of the American participants answered 
they use Facebook to maintain their social network. Particularly, this theme included three lower-
level concepts of ―To make new friends,‖ ―To contact old friends,‖ and ―To meet people with 
similar interests.‖ They think Facebook can be a useful tool to broaden their social network and, 
at the same time, to keep in touch with their old friends. However, the American participants did 
not reveal a strong sense of belonging to their Facebook networks or groups. Most of the 


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