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The Impact of Social Networking Site Use on Social Capital and Happiness: A Field Study of Arab and Non-Arab Residents in the UAE

Published in American University in Cairo
Volume: 2020
   
Issue: 29
Pages: 36 - 63
Abstract

As social networking sites (SNSs) grow in size across the United Arab Emirates, they are increasingly utilized as avenues for social partnership and sustainable development. These networks are also used as a means of creating social cohesion among the country’s residents. This is achieved through communication over social media platforms aimed at residents comprising multiple cultural, religious, and economic backgrounds. This interdisciplinary study combines research elements from sociology, psychology, and computer-mediated communication studies and focuses on the theory of social capital. Specifically, this study examines the relationship between the intensity of SNS usage (of Arab and non-Arab residents) and the formation and maintenance of social capital as well as the relationship between social capital and the happiness of residents (defined as self-esteem and satisfaction with life in the UAE). The study examines the effects of such demographic factors as nationality, gender, age, and income on the relationship between the Intensity of SNS usage and social capital. The study applies the survey method with a sample size of 300 Arab and non-Arab residents in the UAE. Research findings showed a positive relationship between Intensity of SNS usage and social capital; in addition to a positive relationship between the intensity of SNS use and happiness, in terms of self-esteem and satisfaction with life in the UAE. Findings also showed statistically significant differences between Arab and non-Arab residents in the United Arab Emirates according to the following variables: Bridging social capital, bonding social capital, and intensity of SNS usage. Nevertheless, there were no statistically significant differences between Arab and non-Arab residents when it came to happiness and social trust. Arab Media & Society https://www.arabmediasociety.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/3.pdf

About the journal
JournalArab Media and Society
PublisherAmerican University in Cairo
ISSN16877721
Open AccessYes