Facebook as a tool to integrate : A qualitative- and quantitative historically contextual analysis of the use of Facebook among international students at Stockholm University in 2011 – and how they use it 10 years later in 2021
Sammanfattning: This research study investigates if and how international students in Stockholm, Sweden use Facebook as a tool to make friends and integrate themselves within their new society. To gather information and data for the first part in 2011 a qualitative- and a quantitative approach was used. An online survey was applied to gather numerical data and in-depth interviews were conducted for the qualitative insights. Ten years later, in 2021, follow-up interviews were done with the interviewee subjects of the qualitative data gathering. This to contextualize the findings from 2011, as well as put in perspective with scholarly insights about Facebook and international students presented between the years 2011 and 2021. During the first part of the study, in 2011, Facebook had been available outside the United States for five years and not a significant amount of research had been conducted on the subject. Findings indicated that international students in Stockholm used Facebook to a wider extent when having arrived in a new country. Additional findings showcased that Facebook usage increased in terms of using the site to retrieve information about events and activities. Findings from both 2011 and 2021 showcased that Facebook and other social media applications are mainly used as means to maintain existing relationships, not to search for new friends. Findings also indicated that messenger services have obtained user patterns that originally existed on traditional social networks, such as Facebook. More research must be done on the topic to state whether these findings hold any statistical truthfulness. Suggested topics for further research are included in the conclusions and discussion section of this paper.
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