Advisor

Heng-Yu Ku

Committee Member

Black, Linda Lutisha

Committee Member

Kyser, Christine D.

Department

Educational Technology

Institution

University of Northern Colorado

Type of Resources

Text

Place of Publication

Greeley, (Colo.)

Publisher

University of Northern Colorado

Date Created

4-9-2017

Genre

Thesis

Extent

173 pages

Digital Origin

Born digital

Abstract

This study examined the role of social media in the lives of Saudi female international college students as they faced issues related to adjusting to living and studying in a culture vastly different from their own. Social media is an increasingly important consideration in literature on self-identity, education, and community. This study employed qualitative interview methods to explore this topic. Fourteen Saudi female international college students living in the United States for three to nine years answered questions about their personal identities in Saudi Arabia and in the United States, their social media use in Saudi Arabia and in the United States, their experiences with online communities, and their experiences with educational social media. Of the 14 participants, nine were married and five were unmarried, nine were graduate students and five were undergraduate students, and all ranged in age from 18 to 40. Major themes that emerged were identity as a Saudi, female, Muslim, and student; identity changes after arriving in the United States; social media and the expression of identity; the role of communities in the lives of Saudi female international college students; and educational social media and Saudi female international students. Recommendations developed from this study’s findings aimed to help U.S. professors better understand their male and female Saudi students, how Saudi cultural and religious factors impacted these males and females differently, and how to effectively use educational social media in a way that acknowledged Saudi culture but still encouraged participation by all Saudi students. Limitations of this study, recommendations for future research topics, and a conclusion are also provided. The findings of this research further point the need for educators to understand how to implement social media in the classroom in a way that serves students of all cultural backgrounds as the U.S. educational system continues to receive large numbers of Saudi international students each year. Overall, this study found the experiences of Saudi female international college students studying in the United States impacted their identities, their use of social media to connect with their communities, and how they interacted in a culturally diverse classroom through educational social media.

Degree type

PhD

Degree Name

Doctoral

Language

English

Local Identifiers

Alruwaili_unco_0161D_10550

Rights Statement

Copyright belong to the author.

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