Partners in the Digital Age: Influences of social media on how young Lao people are choosing their partner

Sipaseut, Vilakhone (2022) Partners in the Digital Age: Influences of social media on how young Lao people are choosing their partner. MA/MSc thesis, BCE Kommunikáció és Szociológia Intézet, Szociológia és Társadalompolitika Tanszék.

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The emerging studies show that the rise of technology plays a vital role in shaping the social fabric and cultural norms. More specifically, it opens opportunities to move away from the traditional sphere of socializing and breaks the limitation of choices to an endless variety of potential sexual and romantic partners. With smartphones and the Internet, people can now seek to engage and connect with many people beyond their compound. The study aims to (a) identify and explore the influences of online dating apps and social media applications on finding a partner for Lao students who are currently studying in Laos and for those studying in Hungary, and (b) How online dating and social media applications have shaped the dating process and generated changes in social and cultural norms in Lao society according to the Lao research subjects. Survey research was conducted in Hungary and Laos, as well as semi-structured interviews with six students in Budapest, Hungary. Interestingly, the findings show that the studied students who are living in a more open society have more freedom to meet and choose their partners by using online dating apps. While young people in Laos also have the space to socialize with people they meet online, the social stigma, discrimination, and norms were much higher than amongst the students of the sample who lived in Hungary. Therefore, young Lao students in the sample still preferred to meet through traditional dating methods. Besides the social and cultural norms, the size of the online dating environment matters–people use it to get to know each other. They preferred someone that have mutual friends they find more comfortable and convenient. Secondly, long-distance relationships can cause many problems, especially for people seeking long-term relationships that require physical and emotional attachment—lastly, as mentioned earlier that difference cultural values have potential effect on dating culture, especially among female users. On the other hand, many individuals have grown more isolated due to the epidemic. As a result, more people seek virtual connections for companionship and emotional support as a coping technique for loneliness.

Item Type:MA/MSc thesis
Subjects:Information economy
ID Code:15154
Deposited On:10 Jan 2023 11:54
Last Modified:10 Jan 2023 11:54

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