GRM 2010 GRM 2011

Abstract Details

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Title of Paper:
Emiratis’ Self-Presentation Strategies and the Social Capital in the Social Networking Sites
Paper Proposal Text :
Social media has established its place as an integral and interdependent actor in society in the Gulf area and specifically in the United Arab Emirates in the past 10 years. The most popular types of social media in the UAE include social networks Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter, among others (Al Jenaibi, Badrya, 2012: 22). People use social networking sites to create their profile and to build a personal network that connects them to other people (boyd & Ellison, 2007. Self-presentation refers to a process by which individuals engage in impression management and information control in everyday life (Schlenker & Pontari, 2000. Strategies of the presentation of self in the social media networking sites have been recently investigated by some media scholars (Rui, Jian and Stefanone, Micheal A, 2013; Gibbs, Jennifer L. et al, 2006; Leung, Louis, 2011; DeAndrea, David C. and Walther, Joseph B, 2011. On the other hand, social capital refers to the set of resources embedded within social networks accessed and used by individuals within a network (Coleman, 1988). Bridging social capital focuses on the values created by heterogeneous groups and is related to “weak ties”, whereas bonding social capital is formed through socially homogeneous groups and is closely associated with “strong ties” (Granovetter, 1982; Haythornthwaite, 2005)
This research investigates the relationship between online self-presentation and social capital. It explores three strategies of self-presentation (Enhancement- Supplication and Ingratiation) in the social networking sites. It also examines how Emiratis perceive social capital (bridging and bonding) in the context of Social Networking Sites. In addition, the attitude towards online social connection, protective self presentation strategy and perception of self presentation success will be measured. Nationalities of the friends (Emiratis – non Emiratis) and number of friends the respondents have in the social networking sites might predict their type of social capital and the self-presentation strategy they use. Also, reasons for using social networking sites will be investigated.
The research will focus to answer the following questions:
1- What are the online self presentation strategies Emiratis tend to use in their online social networking sites?
2- What are the motivations of using social networking sites among Emiratis?
3- What type of social capital (bridging/bonding) Emiratis are using in their social networking sites?
4- Do Emiratis have a positive attitude toward online social connections?
5- How far Emiratis perceive that they succeed in their self-presentation in social networking sites?
Six hypotheses will be tested using various statistical techniques.
1.There is a correlation between level of social networking connection and the self presentation strategy (Enhancement- supplication and Ingratiation).
2. There is a correlation between level of social networking connection and online social capital (Bridging/bonding)
3. There is a correlation between the attitude toward online social connections and the strategy of self presentation (Enhancement- supplication and Ingratiation)
4. There is a correlation between perception of online self presentation success and online social capital(Bridging/bonding).
5. There is a negative correlation between protective self presentation strategy and online social capital (Bridging/bonding)
6. There is a correlation between the attitude toward online social connections and online social capital (Bridging/bonding).
A constructed questionnaire will be used to collect the data from a sample of Emiratis (n=200) living in Abu Dhabi, the capital of UAE. Gender and education levels of the respondents will be recorded. Measurements will be adopted from online self-presentation and social capital literature.