Based on the literature review, interaction, interpersonal communication and dependency were each identified as factors that showcase the impact of mobile phone for social networking in Malaysia among university students of East African origin. In this section the conceptual framework for the study is presented providing analytical lens through which both the relationships among these factors and the outcomes of the investigation are considered. Social networking for academic purposes is the fourth factor measured in this study as it’s a contributing factor to this stu
3.2.1. A conceptual Framework for Analyzing the perception of the impact of mobile phone for social networking
Perception of Mobile Phone use for Social Networking
Expand social world, Strengthen friendship,
Damaged social life without mobile phone,
The conceptual framework for this study is influenced by three theoretical perspectives: 1) Ran Wei and Ven-Hwei Lo’s Cell phone use and social connectedness, 2) Rebbecca Rubbin’s Interpersonal Communication Competence Scale and 3) O’Keefe and Sulanowski’s Uses, Gratifications research. Independently, these three studies were applied to analyze social consequences of the mobile phone in the previous studies. For this study, this study synthesizes them and draws on the relevant strengths of each to focus on specific elements of the research questions.
The three perspectives have also been applied to studies on how people incorporate technologies and technological artifacts into everyday practice, intellectually drawing from interaction theorists such as, Suchman (2008) and Goffman (1967) everyday information practice as defined by Savolainen (2008) incorporates seeking, using and sharing of information within a social network. Interpreting the data on information practices necessitates an understanding of the interactions among the members in participant‘s social networks, interaction between the mobile phone and participants as they experience transition from their country of origin to Malaysia. It is the interaction that builds interpersonal communication and hence making university students of East African origin become dependent on the mobile phone for social networking.
According to Ito and Okabe (2005), a techno social situation is a technology-mediated social order that is structured both by the interacts and by influences that are outside the boundaries of the interpersonal encounter In this study the techno social situation includes mobile phones, university students of East African origin and their personal network of friends in Malaysia,
while the context of transition can be considered as an influence external to the interpersonal encounter, yet integral to the social setting. In hypothesis 1, there is a significant relationship between interaction and the perception of mobile phone use for social networking in Malaysia among University students of East African origin. Reading the first hypothesis through the lens of the study‘s techno social situation, The study surmises that especially in a foreign country such as Malaysia, mobile phone creates a constant and ambient accessibility to students of East African origin to establish networks of social support through interaction.
In hypothesis 2, there is a significant relationship between interpersonal communication and the perception of mobile phone for social networking in Malaysia among University students of East African origin. The study inquires relationship between interpersonal communication and perception of mobile phone use for social networking in students of East African origin in Malaysia. (Ling 2008) argues that mobile communication is different from other forms of interpersonal mediation as it makes each person instantly and personally addressable. Ling positions social cohesion as a type of catalyst that in the process of interpersonal interaction involves the dissolution of barriers to interaction in the context of the moment. Mobile phone communication takes interpersonal communication to another level by continually presenting, and often delivering, the potential to transport physically absent persons into a context of co-presence. Regarding this hypothesis, from the perspective of mobile communication services, I conjecture that mobile phone use builds and reinforces interpersonal communication among university students of East Africa origin. Further, everyday mobile phone use in interpersonal communication obscures its role to the human participants.
In hypothesis 3, there is a significant difference of mobile phone dependency for social networking between different duration of stays in Malaysia among university students of East
African origin. The study determines dependency of mobile phone for social networking in relation to duration of stay in Malaysia. The study conjectures that mobile phones do more than facilitation of interactions, but building and reinforcing interpersonal communication are entangled with the dynamic of social networking hence dependency and social networking for academic purposes. The greater the degree of changes in friendship networks, the more people use mobile phones to access social support and hence social cohesion. As the friendship networks of university students of East Africa origin in Malaysia changes, I anticipate observing changes in the way the mobile phone is incorporated in young people‘s search for social support.
This section describes a conceptual framework for analyzing the impact of mobile phone for social networking in Malaysia among university student of East African origin. The influence of scholars from science and technology studies and sociology was demonstrated, drawing links to key ideas presented in the Literature Review. Using the concepts (a) Interactions, (b) Mobile communication services and (c) Social cohesion, the research questions were further explicated and the hypotheses were situated within the framework.
Figure 3.2.1 (b): Synthesized and diagrammatically presented conceptual framework
The perception of Mobile Phone use for
Social networking Interpersonal
Social Networking for Academic
This conceptual framework outlined here is to analyze the perceptions of impact of mobile phone for social networking in Malaysia among university students of East African origin. The next chapter discusses the methodology of the study including research design, research setting and data collection process and methods.