Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/51405

Carrying Forward the Uses and Grats 2.0 Agenda: Developing an Affordable-Based Measure of Social Media Uses and Gratifications, and Applying it Across Political Actors and Attributes

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Item Summary

Title: Carrying Forward the Uses and Grats 2.0 Agenda: Developing an Affordable-Based Measure of Social Media Uses and Gratifications, and Applying it Across Political Actors and Attributes
Authors: Rathnayake, Chamil
Keywords: Social Media
Uses and Gratifications
Affordances
Political Actors and Attributes
Issue Date: May 2016
Publisher: [Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [May 2016]
Abstract: Despite its theoretical relevance, the notion of social media affordances has not permeated social media uses and gratifications studies. This has resulted in a need for research
that focuses on developing affordance-based measures and testing them across user populations. Recognizing this need, Sundar (2008) and Sundar and Limperos (2013) suggested an affordance-based
conceptual framework, known as the MAIN model, which can help develop potential measures of new
media uses and gratifications. This study used the MAIN framework to develop an affordance-based
scale for social media uses and gratifications and used it to characterize political actors,
particularly dissidents and allegiants, and individuals with different levels of political tolerance and dogmatism. The first phase of the study focused on developing the social media uses and gratifications scale, using a convenience sample of 393 university students. The results of the first phase supported the conceptual accuracy of the MAIN model, indicating that conceptualizing social media uses and gratifications as a second-order factor structure that classifies social media uses and gratifications constructs into four different types of affordances (Modality, Agency, Interactivity, and Navigability) does not jeopardize the statistical validity of measures. The scale developed in the first phase was applied in the second phase to examine social media uses and gratifications that can characterize political actor types and levels of political dogmatism and tolerance. A sample of 313 American citizens above the age of 18, collected through a professional data collection service, was used to test five discriminant models to achieve this goal. The first three discriminant models showed that social media uses and gratifications can be used to classify political actor types with nearly 70% accuracy. However, the results painted a nuanced picture, indicating that social media uses and gratifications can describe differences as well as similarities between potential political dissidents and allegiants. While Realism, Coolness, and Agency-enhancement gratifications were common among dissidents and allegiants, dissidents showed significantly lower Filtering than allegiants. The fourth and fifth discriminant models also had more than 70% classification accuracy. According the last two models, uses and gratifications, such as Realism and Play, can characterize dogmatism, and Coolness, Filtering, and Browsing can indicate high political tolerance. The contribution of this dissertation research is two-fold. First, it suggests a potential affordance-based social media uses and gratifications scale that can be used in future research. Second, it suggests that, as opposed to the utopian perspective that social media are ideal platforms for alternative politics, they can cater to individuals engaged in both anti- and pro-system politics as well as politically dogmatic users.
Description: Ph.D. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2016.
Includes bibliographical references.
URI/DOI: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/51405
Appears in Collections:Ph.D. - Communication and Information Sciences


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