Online social networks (OSN) have become an important part of every individual’s social support network. This makes OSNs, particularly important to the sojourner who will have to constantly resort to social support sources to cope with the difficulties and psychological stress of cross-cultural adaptation. Nevertheless, the use of OSNs in the context of cultural adaptation is an under explored area. This study draws upon social network theory, adopts a qualitative research approach with multiple case design, to investigate how international students use OSNs to adapt to a new culture. Three themes emerged from our findings. OSNs can be leveraged to 1) enable socialization, 2) facilitate knowledge exchange, and 3) alleviate acculturative stress in adapting to a new culture. We believe our study contributes to the sparse literature on the impact of OSNs on cross-cultural adaptation and serves a foundation for future research in this vital area of OSN usage.
Adikari, Shalinda and Adu, Ernest Kwadwo, "Usage of Online Social Networks in Cultural Adaptation" (2015). PACIS 2015 Proceedings. 7.