Understanding online communication through Arab eyes

Tamara Alsheikh, Siân E. Lindley, and Jennifer A. Rode

Abstract

As we strive towards a unified theory of online communication, we need to understand the role of cultural values in technology adoption and design. Here, in the spirit of defamiliarization, we present key findings of a study of Arab couples using new technologies to maintain long-distance relationships. We demonstrate how Western values are designed into the technology, and how Arabic values play a role in how the technology is used and re-appropriated. In doing so we argue that a unified theory of online communication must use care to ensure mainstream cultural values are not theoretically reified.

Details

Publication typeInproceedings
Published inCHI 2010 workshop on Models, Theories and Methods of Studying Online Behavior
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