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Volume :35 Issue : 139 2017      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

Social Networks as Sources of Education and Information among University Students: A Comparative Study within the Framework of the "Uses and Dependency Model" (in Arabic).

Auther : Hasan Mansoor

The present study relies on the "Uses and Dependency Model of Mass Communication" in attempting to identify both the university students' motives for the use of social networks as well as the level of their  dependency on them for various purposes. The paper also notes the effects of that dependency in different communities, namely Saudi Arabia and Yemen, with different security, political and economic conditions.

Three hypotheses are tested through an online survey of a sample of 200 students at King Saud University and Sana'a University. The results indicate that hypothesis 1 is not supported: social stability does not influence students' dependency on social networks as a source of education or information. Hypothesis 2 is partially supported: there are significant differences between the two groups in terms of cognitive and affective effects, but not so in terms of behavioral effects. In hypothesis 3, the impact of demographic variables on students' dependency on social networks for information and education was not statistically significant, except for limited cases.

Instrumental motives are among the strongest motives for the use of social networks, especially communicating with others, followed by ritualized motives, such as leisure and entertainment. The level of respondents' dependency on networks for information is higher than their level of dependency on networks for education. The effects of dependency in both cases (informational and educational) are cognitive in the first place, followed by behavioral and affective effects.
More research should be conducted to test variables other than social stability in order to examine differences in dependency on social networks and their impact on different social groups such as women, the elderly, and adolescents. It is also recommended that models and traditional theories in communication studies be expanded on and advantages be taken of modern theoretical frameworks in education, sociology, and psychology, which are commensurate with the new media environment and studies of social networks.

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Dec 08, 2019

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