Cultural Differences in Social Media Usage and Beliefs and Attitudes towards Advertising on Social Media: Findings from Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Cultural Differences in Social Media Usage and Beliefs and Attitudes towards Advertising on Social Media: Findings from Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Sara Kamal (American University in Dubai, UAE) and Shu-Chuan Chu (DePaul University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-833-0.ch009
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Abstract

Social media use is quickly integrating into the daily lives of consumers in the Middle East, where a large number of users represent a variety of cultural milieu. This chapter examines differences between Arab and non-Arab social media users in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), with respect to usage, beliefs, and attitudes towards social media advertising. The chapter also examines managerial and theoretical implications for communication across culturally diverse audiences via online media.
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Conisdering Culture And Media

A cultural dimension that distinguishes people from different cultures is Markus and Kitayama’s (1991)independent and interdependent self-construal. Markus and Kitayama (1991) defined self-construal as “the relationship between the self and others and, especially, the degree to which they [people] see themselves as separate from others or as connected with others” (p. 226). Two prominent aspects of self-construal are independence and interdependence. The distinction of self-construals corresponds to Hofstede’s (1980) dimensions of individualism and collectivism. Individuals with an independent orientation, view themselves as unique from others, are more likely to be observed in Western cultures. Whereas interdependent individuals consider themselves as part of an interconnected social relationship, are more prevalent in Eastern cultures (Markus & Kitayama, 1991; Singelis, 1994). Kim and Yun (2007) noted that self-construals have a mediating role in the influence of culture on users’ behavior and communication patterns. Accordingly, the current study incorporates self-construals into our analysis.

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