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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:  8 On the contrary, with an independent construal of the self, others are less centrally implicated in one‘s current self-definition or identity. Certainly, others are important for social comparison, for reflected appraisal, and in their role as the targets of one‘s actions, yet at any given moment, the self is assumed to be a complete, whole, autonomous entity without the others. The sense of individuality that accompanies this construal of the self includes a sense of oneself as an agent, as a producer of one‘s actions. One is conscious of being in control over the surrounding situation and of the need to express one‘s own thoughts, feelings, and actions to others and one is relatively less conscious of the need to receive the thoughts, feelings, and actions of others (Markus and Kitayama, 1991). With regard to cultural differences, Western individualistic cultures promote highly autonomous social practices and foster independent self-construal, in which the individual‘s uniqueness and separateness from social contexts are highly valued. As a result, the preferred communication styles of Western cultures are low context, in that meanings are conveyed in straightforward, direct, and explicit ways. By contrast, Eastern collectivist cultures emphasize ‗‗we-ness‘‘ and connectedness among in-group members, so that people with interdependent self- construal are perceived as functioning well (Hall, 1989). As a result, individuals in Eastern collectivist cultures tend to engage in highly context-dependent communication that is abstract, indirect, and implicit (Singlis & Brown, 1995). In line with the existing cross-cultural theories, it is important to examine how people with different cultural backgrounds (i.e., Western vs. Eastern) use the SNSs differently for interacting with others. RESEARCH QUESTIONS Previous studies have indicated that people may use SNSs to obtain information, social/emotional support, and a sense of belonging, encouragement and companionship not only from existing social relationships, but also from newly developed relationships based on similar

Authors: Yoo, Jinnie.
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On the contrary, with an independent construal of the self, others are less centrally 
implicated in one‘s current self-definition or identity. Certainly, others are important for social 
comparison, for reflected appraisal, and in their role as the targets of one‘s actions, yet at any 
given moment, the self is assumed to be a complete, whole, autonomous entity without the 
others. The sense of individuality that accompanies this construal of the self includes a sense of 
oneself as an agent, as a producer of one‘s actions. One is conscious of being in control over the 
surrounding situation and of the need to express one‘s own thoughts, feelings, and actions to 
others and one is relatively less conscious of the need to receive the thoughts, feelings, and 
actions of others (Markus and Kitayama, 1991). 
With regard to cultural differences, Western individualistic cultures promote highly 
autonomous social practices and foster independent self-construal, in which the individual‘s 
uniqueness and separateness from social contexts are highly valued. As a result, the preferred 
communication styles of Western cultures are low context, in that meanings are conveyed in 
straightforward, direct, and explicit ways. By contrast, Eastern collectivist cultures emphasize 
‗‗we-ness‘‘ and connectedness among in-group members, so that people with interdependent self-
construal are perceived as functioning well (Hall, 1989). As a result, individuals in Eastern 
collectivist cultures tend to engage in highly context-dependent communication that is abstract, 
indirect, and implicit (Singlis & Brown, 1995). In line with the existing cross-cultural theories, it 
is important to examine how people with different cultural backgrounds (i.e., Western vs. 
Eastern) use the SNSs differently for interacting with others. 
RESEARCH QUESTIONS 
Previous studies have indicated that people may use SNSs to obtain information, 
social/emotional support, and a sense of belonging, encouragement and companionship not only 
from existing social relationships, but also from newly developed relationships based on similar 


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