Following in Judith Donath and dana boyd’s researches on online friendship and drawing on social network analysis of tie formation, this Hui-Jung Chang article sets up to detect cross-cultural variations in ‘friending’ between a US-based service (Myspace) and a Taiwan one (Wretch).
Hui-Jung Chang (2010). Social networking friendships: A cross-cultural comparison of network structure between MySpace and Wretch Journal of Cultural Science, 3 (2).
Understandably, Taiwanese and US cultures have different approaches to friendship. The author characterizes Taiwan as a more collectivistic culture where explicit messages and content exchange are less important that the context (all the information either coded in the physical setting or internalized in the person) for establishing who’s your friend. US, on the other side, is defined as a “low-context”, individualistic culture [note: pictures are just random. Neither peace sign nor thumbs up in photos appear to bear any significant effect on friendship formation]. Consequently, Hui-Jung Chang formulates the hypothesis that Taiwanese offline friends networks are larger and denser. Does the same apply to online networks?