Learning, Culture, and Social Media

Learning, Culture, and Social Media

Müge Adnan (Muğla Sıtkı Koçman University, Turkey) and Yasemin Gülbahar (Ankara University, Turkey)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3076-3.ch010
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Abstract

The influence of social media has been most significant in the way that it has transformed our lives and daily practices, especially the younger generation. Social media usage represents a change in social norms such as values and perceptions, and it affects social movements, causing social and political changes. In this virtual communication process, cultural differences, national identity, and gender issues come forth, which can influence local and global communication behaviours within social media. Based on these facts, in this chapter we aim to highlight how virtual culture plays a role in education, within the social learning context of social media. Thus, social networks and social media will be handled within the context of learning: both from a conventional and online perspective. In light of established learning theories, we discuss what is really going on virtually and how cultural differences affect this process and learning outcomes.
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Hofstede’S Cultural Dimensions Theory

According to the Dutch social psychologist Geert Hofstede (1986), our archetypal roles of interaction are played in different ways in different cultures, interacting and carrying themselves over four main human institutions: family, school, job, and community. Hofstede describes them as “part and parcel of the culture” (p. 302) of a society (based on his 1980 definition of culture as “the collective programming of the mind which distinguishes the members of one human group from another”), which are transferred from one generation to the next. These roles are disconcerted in cross-cultural environments, particularly in learning situations where pairs may be born, raised and ‘programmed’ in different cultures before they are exposed to that environment. In his 1986 study, Hofstede describes such cross-cultural learning situations as ‘fundamentally problematic’, particularly in four main areas in terms of differences in social positions of instructors and learners, relevance of the curriculum (training content), profiles of cognitive abilities between populations from which instructors and learners are drawn, and expected patterns of instructor/learner and learner/learner interaction.

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