Self-Presentation on Facebook and Orkut: A Cross Cultural Study of Brazilians and Indians

By David Nemer and Guo Freeman.

Published by Journal of Technologies and Human Usability

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published Online: September 8, 2015 $US5.00

Alongside the exponential growth of popularity of Facebook worldwide, several other social network sites (SNSs) are popular in nations like China (e.g., Renren.com), Brazil, and India (e.g., Orkut.com). Though Orkut has been discontinued on September 31, 2014, prior to its shutdown many Brazilian and Indian users still actively used both Orkut and Facebook to be involved in their two different social networks. In this paper we investigate whether, and if so how, Brazilian and Indian users of Facebook and Orkut represent themselves differently on these two SNSs. 30 Brazilians (15 females and 15 males) and 30 Indians (15 females and 15 males) were selected by convenience and judgment sampling. Web content analysis (Herring 2010) (specifically feature analysis) and visual content analysis (Bell 1996) were used to analyze their personal information on profile pages and their profile pictures. Results show that Brazilian users disclosed equal amount of personal information on Facebook and Orkut, while Indian users provided more personal information on Orkut than on Facebook. Moreover, most male and female Brazilians used 'casual' dressed profile pictures while most male Indians used ‘smart casual’ dressed ones on both SNSs. However, most female Indians tended to use 'traditional' dressed profile pictures on Orkut but ‘professional’ or ‘smart casual’ dressed ones on Facebook. These differences can be explained in terms of cultural traditions and gender roles in Brazil and India, and the norms and design features of the two SNSs.

Keywords: Self-Presentation, Impression Management, Facebook, Orkut, Brazil, India

Journal of Technologies and Human Usability, Volume 10, Issue 2, September 2015, pp.1-15. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published Online: September 8, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 951.938KB)).

Dr. David Nemer

Assistant Professor, School of Information Science, University of Kentucky, Kentucky, USA

David received his Ph.D. in Informatics from the School of Informatics and Computing, Indiana University - Bloomington. His dissertation research attempts to understand the technology use by marginalized populations and how this technology use can contribute to our understanding of what constitutes empowerment and disempowerment. He is also interested in how digital inclusion policies and programs are promoting social mobility within the marginalized. David holds a MSc. in Computer Science from Saarland University, BSc. in Computer Science from FAESA and BSc. in Business Administration from Federal University of Espirito Santo, Brazil.

Dr. Guo Freeman

Assistant Professor, School of Information Technology, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

Guo received her Ph.D. in Information Science from the School of Informatics and Computing, Indiana University - Bloomington. Currently, she is an assistant professor in the School of Information Technology at University of Cincinnati. Her research interests concern social computing and social media user experience, including the effects of ICTs (e.g., social network sites, social media apps, video sharing, and multiplayer online games) on interpersonal relationships and group behavior.