Title

Relationships Between Selfie Practice and Cultural Characteristics: Independent and Interdependent Self-construals

Date of Award

December 2015

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Media Studies

Advisor(s)

T.Makana Chock

Keywords

High-context culture, Instagram, Low-context culture, Self-construals, Selfie, Social Media

Subject Categories

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Abstract

While there is an increasing prevalence of selfies in social media, little is known about individuals' use of selfies on social media. Researchers have focused on the relationship between individuals' personalities and social media use. However, they have not taken into account individuals' cultural backgrounds regarding social media use. Although there are different aspects of behaviors regarding selfies among different individuals, little is known about the relationship between individuals' cultural backgrounds and their selfie practice.

This thesis aims to explore the relationship between individuals' cultural characteristics and selfie practices, including posting and interacting with others on Instagram. This study investigated selfie users on Instagram using an online survey via Amazon's Mechanical Turk (MTurk). Selfie users in the U.S (N=354) and India (N=396) were examined to explore cultural difference in selfie usages.

Most previous cross-cultural studies assumed that nationality defines one's cultural characteristics. However, researchers have pointed out that the classification may be overgeneralized and that there is a need to explore different cultures at the level of an individual. Through measuring personal traits of independent and interdependent self-construal, this thesis explored the relationship between cultural characteristics and selfie practice at both individual and country level. Implications for the relationship are discussed.

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