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The Use of Theory in Social Studies of Web 2.0

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2 Author(s)
EunRyung Chong ; Univ. of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA ; Bo Xie

Web 2.0 has become a hot topic in recent social studies. A systematic review of the literature was conducted in May 2010 to generate preliminary answers to the following primary research question: What are the current patterns of theory use in social studies of Web 2.0 applications? Using the search key terms of Web 2.0, social media, and social networking, a total of 141 articles from the Communication & Mass Media Complete and PsycINFO databases were selected for analysis. After applying the inclusion/ exclusion criteria (addressing Web 2.0 applications that feature user-generated content and social networking; exploration of human behaviors; and report of original research data), a total of 54 research articles remained. Among these, 34 mentioned theory (primarily social network theory), however only five used theory to guide the research. These findings suggest the need to develop more theory-driven research in social studies of Web 2.0.

Published in:

System Sciences (HICSS), 2011 44th Hawaii International Conference on

Date of Conference:

4-7 Jan. 2011