Posted: November 21st, 2022

research

5

Research Question

1. How does social media impact college students’ views of American society?

Potential Theory

This paper will apply the cultivation theory in analyzing the impacts of social media on college students. College students tend to be susceptible to disinformation as, most times, they are the target of digital marketing, political adverts, and many other adverts. The cultivation theory investigates the long-term effects of prolonged television exposure on viewers’ perceptions of the world around them. Cultivation evaluation was first carried out as a component of George Gerbner’s Cultural Indicators Project, which was established in the late 1960s. The central hypothesis of the theory states individuals who consume more television are much more inclined to perceive the actual world in ways that are most frequently represented in television messages when compared to individuals who watch less television but are otherwise similar in important demographic features.

Research Methodology

The research will use a qualitative research design primarily employing secondary research from previously done works that are peer-reviewed. The study will also employ interviews where an ideal sample of students will be interviewed based on the research questions. According to Rahman (2016), the qualitative research methodology yields a dense (detailed) description of the respondents’ emotions, thoughts, and perspectives, in addition to interpreting the meanings of the respondents’ actions. In addition, the qualitative methodology identifies patterns in the respondents’ behaviors. Second, certain experts believe that the qualitative method of study is the only method that can fully understand the totality of human experiences within the parameters of a particular setting. Data are collected through qualitative methods the vast majority of the time. Some qualitative research methods include respondent observations, direct observation, unstructured interviews, and description of records. During the data collection process, one of the instances in which the research teams collect data is by directly interacting with the participants. This is the case when the data is collected through interviews. Because of this, data collection is characterized by high subjectivity and specificity. In the study that Rumsey, Thiessen, Buchan, and Daly (2016) carried out, they collected data by conducting interviews over the phone in addition to conducting interviews in person. In conclusion, qualitative research provides researchers with the opportunity to learn about the participants’ internal experiences and examine the approaches in which concepts are founded both within and through culture.

Social significance of the research

The world is ushering in the fourth industrial revolution, which will usher in the machine learning age. This will be a period that data will heavily dominate, and one of the most common places that companies source their data is social media. According to Tajudeen, Jaafar, and Ainin (2018), the perceived benefits that its usage is anticipated to continue providing are a significant factor in determining the extent to which a company adopts social platforms. These advantages include the ease of acquiring and inputting data and whether it helps shape or improve business relationships and connections. In a similar vein, the choice to adopt social media is determined by a variety of factors, including its compatibility with preexisting technology, values, culture, and employment policies; the amount of user interaction, or the scope towards which social media permits two-way interaction; as well as systemic pressures from external factors, such as customers and competitors. This demonstrates the extent to which social media influences society and, in turn, the driving forces behind social media adoption. Most organizations target teenagers and the youth in their data mining quest, which sees college and university students caught up in the crosshairs. However, for this to happen, students need to be heavy users of social media, which begs the question, how does social media affect these students?

Reference

Rahman, M. S. (2016, November 10). The Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches and Methods in Language “Testing and Assessment” Research: A Literature Review.
Journal of Education and Learning,
6(1), 102.

https://doi.org/10.5539/jel.v6n1p102

Rumsey, M., Thiessen, J., Buchan, J., & Daly, J. (2016). The consequences of English language testing for international health professionals and students: An Australian case study. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 54, 95-103.

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2015.06.001

Tajudeen, F. P., Jaafar, N. I., & Ainin, S. (2018). Understanding the impact of social media usage among organizations. 
Information & Management, 
55(3), 308-321.

2

Research Question:
How does social media impact college students’ views of American society?

Description of relevant theory or theoretical perspectives found in articles.

Social media is a method for individuals to interact and share their ideas and perspectives on current events, according to the theory behind it and its influence on college students’ perceptions of American culture. Social media may be used to inform people about problems and to motivate them to take action. In the Ahmad et al. study, the researchers utilized a survey to gather information regarding rural Pakistani university students’ usage of social media and political engagement. The survey’s findings revealed that social media has a big impact on how politically active college students are. Elsayed (2021) talks about how social media has a detrimental impact on young people’s social identities. He contends that using social media might result in feelings of anxiety and social isolation as well as a lack of empathy for other people. He also mentions how social media can both be a vehicle for social progress and a tool for reinforcing unfavorable perceptions. The contribution of digital media to youth micro-mobilization is discussed by Maher and Earl (2019). According to their claims, the usage of digital media may either hinder or facilitate youth mobilization. They point out that although digital media may provide young people a platform to organize and exchange information, it can also be used to promote false information and deter them from engaging in more conventional political activities.

The contribution of digital media to youth micro-mobilization is discussed by Maher and Earl (2019). According to their claims, the usage of digital media may either hinder or facilitate youth mobilization. They point out that although digital media may provide young people a platform to organize and exchange information, it can also be used to promote false information and deter them from engaging in more conventional political activities. The rise of socioeconomic division in America is discussed by Mijs and Roe in 2021. They contend that since social media gives users a place to interact with individuals who are similar to them, it might increase socioeconomic division. They also mention how social media may help unite individuals who would otherwise be socially isolated. Towne (2022) talks on how social media affects how college students see the use of force by police. She contends that social media may provide college students a platform to learn about and interact with material regarding the use of force by police. She also points out that disinformation and unfavorable perceptions may be transmitted through social media.

Synthesis of the arguments in a coherent way.

The five studies selected for this assessment of the literature examine various facets of how social media influences college students’ perceptions of American culture. Ahmad et al. (2019) look at how social media impacts university students’ political engagement in rural Pakistan. From a social work viewpoint, Elsayed (2021) examines how social media has a detrimental impact on young people’s social identities. Digital media and social networks’ effects on young people’s micro-mobilization are examined by Maher & Earl (2019). Mijs & Roe (2021) analyze whether America is breaking apart by looking at socioeconomic segregation in communities, schools, workplaces, and social networks. Towne (2022) analyzes how college students view and interact with police use of force information on social media. Ahmad et al. (2019) find that social media has a beneficial influence on political involvement among university students in rural Pakistan. The authors observe that social media has provided university students in rural Pakistan more access to knowledge and enabled them to interact with individuals who share their political beliefs. The authors also conclude that social media has contributed to boost university students’ perception of political effectiveness.

Elsayed (2021) thinks that social media has harmful impacts on the social identity of teenagers. The author claims that social media contributes to teenagers feeling lonely and separated from society. Additionally, Elsayed thinks that social media might severely influence teenagers’ self-esteem and body image. Maher & Earl (2019) discover that social media may be both a barrier and a booster of teenage micro-mobilization. The authors remark that social media may give teenagers with knowledge on social movements and enable them to interact with like-minded people. However, the authors also discover that social media may generate echo chambers that reinforce youth’s prior ideas.

Mijs & Roe (2021) find that America is growing increasingly socioeconomically separated. The authors ascribe this to various variables, including the growing usage of social media. The authors believe that social media has led to individuals self-selecting into echo chambers that strengthen their prior ideas. Additionally, the authors conclude that social media has made it simpler for consumers to interact with others who share their socioeconomic background. Towne (2022) shows that college students experience and interact with police use of force information on social media in diverse ways. The author observes that certain college students are exposed to police use of force information on social media and become more aware of the problem. Other college students may view police use of force information on social media and feel overwhelmed or distanced from the problem.

Identification and discussion of any issues, limitations, or gaps you may see in the existing research and/or literature.

The present study on the influence of social media on college students’ perspectives of American culture is restricted in numerous respects. First, much of the research has been conducted in Pakistan, which may not be representative of the experience of college students in other countries. Second, the study has generally been focused on the function of social media in political involvement, rather than on its influence on students’ perceptions of American society more broadly. This is a serious issue, since it implies that we do not have a thorough grasp of how social media is altering college students’ opinions of American culture. Additionally, the study is restricted in its emphasis on teens and does not evaluate the experiences of college students of all ages. Finally, the study does not evaluate the possible influence of social media on college students’ opinions of American culture over time.

How do the articles assist solve the research question?

The papers included in this literature review analyze the influence of social media on college students’ perceptions of American society from a range of angles. Ahmad et al. (2019) study the impact of social media on political involvement among university students in rural Pakistan, concluding that social media is a crucial element in molding students’ perspectives of the political process. Elsayed (2021) focuses on the detrimental impacts of social media on the social identity of teenagers, stating that social media may contribute to feelings of isolation and anxiety. Maher and Earl (2019) study the influence of social media on adolescent micro-mobilization, finding that social media may be both a barrier and a booster of young involvement in social movements. Mijs and Roe (2021) analyze the effect of social media in aggravating socioeconomic segregation in the United States, finding that social media may perpetuate current patterns of inequality. Towne (2022) examines the influence of social media on college students’ attitudes toward police use of force, concluding that social media is a key element in altering students’ perspectives of law enforcement.

The articles give a detailed review of the influence of social media on college students’ perspectives of American culture. Social media is a powerful tool that can alter the way college students perceive the world around them. The papers in this research review illustrate that social media may have a beneficial influence by boosting political involvement and engagement in social movements, but it can also have a negative impact by reinforcing existing patterns of inequality and creating fear and isolation.

References

Ahmad, T., Alvi, A., & Ittefaq, M. (2019). The Use of Social Media on Political Participation Among University Students: An Analysis of Survey Results From Rural Pakistan.
SAGE Open,
9(3), 215824401986448. https://doi.org/10.1177/2158244019864484

Elsayed, W. (2021). The negative effects of social media on the social identity of adolescents from the perspective of social work.
Heliyon,
7(2). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.heliyon.2021.e06327

Maher, T. V., & Earl, J. (2019). Barrier or Booster? Digital Media, Social Networks, and Youth Micromobilization.
Sociological Perspectives,
62(6), 865–883. https://doi.org/10.1177/0731121419867697

Mijs, J. J. B., & Roe, E. L. (2021). Is America coming apart? Socioeconomic segregation in neighborhoods, schools, workplaces, and social networks, 1970–2020.
Sociology Compass,
15(6). https://doi.org/10.1111/soc4.12884

Towne, K. (2022). “My friends keep me woke about these things”: how college students experience and engage with police use of force content on social media.
Sociological Spectrum,
42(1), 61–74. https://doi.org/10.1080/02732173.2022.2068099

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4

How does social media impact college students’ views of American society?

Population and Sample

Participants in the study are college students who fall between the age range of 18 to 24 years old. Because the study is aimed at students within the American Society, the colleges and other institutions of higher education from whom participants are chosen must be located inside the United States. The population will be made up of distinct groups of students hailing from various parts of the United States and attending various types of educational institutions. On the other hand, in order to lessen the difficulty of research operations, in particular those relating to data collecting, the study will be carried out entirely inside the state of California. The aggregate number of college students chosen in the exercise will serve as the basis for creating a representation of college students within the society of the United States.

Sampling and data collection

The qualitative sampling method used in this study is purposeful sampling. This method was used in the process of choosing the research samples from the several universities that were a part of the study. This method of sampling is chosen because of the advantages it offers, namely that it enables researchers to exercise their own judgment in picking survey respondents from the general population of the community. Researchers who use this sample approach for surveys carried out via online survey platforms need to have a solid grasp of the research’s targeted results in order to recruit the participants who are the best fit for the study. Purposive sampling is helpful for researchers who require access to a certain portion of the population. Participants in a survey are selected because they fulfill a given profile, and this makes the method effective for purposive sampling. In this particular instance, students were chosen for involvement in the study based on their projected use of various social media sites.

Description of method

The study will make use of a qualitative research approach, with the primary focus being on secondary research derived from previously completed works that have been subjected to peer review. The research will also make use of interviews, with a group of students selected to be a representative sample of the population being studied based on the issues that will be investigated. Research interviews, which are a kind of qualitative data collection, take place between an interviewer and a respondent. Interviews are conducted by researchers whenever they want information that can only be obtained by speaking to a representative sample of the population that they are researching as a whole (Muraglia et al, 2020). Primary data may be gathered using a variety of approaches, including interviews, which are excellent sources, and field surveys, which are among the most effective methods. Questions and responses might be verbally exchanged or typed down, depending on the circumstances. The interviews with the college students will give firsthand accounts of the students’ perspectives on American society based on their use of social media platforms.


Interview questionnaire

The following is the interview sheet used in guiding the researchers on the questions asked to the interviewee during data collection.

Notice: The information you provide in the interview is to be used for research purposes only. The response provided will not be shared to any unauthorized party without the consent of the participant.

1. How frequently do you use social media (tiktok, instagrams)? Every day?

2. Why do you like social media?

3. According to you, what role do you think social media has in relation to the development of the youth?

4. How can you describe the American society? Good/Bad

5. Social media affects how one view the American Society.

Strongly agree

Agree

Neutral

Disagree

Strongly Disagree

The American Society experiences changes that can be traced through the social media platforms?

Reference

Muraglia, S., Vasquez, A. L., & Reichert, J. (2020). Conducting research interviews on sensitive topics.

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