HOW DO THAI PEOPLE IN THE UK USE FACEBOOK FOR SOCIAL INTERACTIONS?
This study aims to investigate the way in which Thai people in the UK use Facebook in order to maintain social relationships across long distances when they are no longer living in Thailand. Even, there are a number of researches done about Facebook in Thailand but the topic related to Thai Facebook user in different countries, such as in the UK, has not been researched adequately and there is a gap of about the relevant variables. This study employed qualitative methodology by using in-depth interview with open-ended questionnaire as the data collection method. The unit of analysis was 25 Thai people who were living in the UK and available for the interview between June to August, 2014. The participants were recruited from Facebook Fan page related to Thai people in the UK. The finding shows that the usage of Facebook by Thai people in the UK can be categorized into two aspects which are first, social interaction on Facebook as sender and second, social interaction on Facebook as receiver. Also, it can be confirmed that Facebook has played significant roles to enable Thai Facebook users maintaining their relationships and remaining sense of social belonging through online social network platform across different time and space. Accordingly, the study explores an aspect of ‘collective cultural belonging’ among Thai Facebook users that should be considered for further study as one influence characteristic (or variables in quantitative study) in related topic to Facebook user’s behavior.
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