Impact of social media on Intercultural Communication Competence of Chinese People living in Sweden

University essay from KTH/Skolan för elektroteknik och datavetenskap (EECS)

Abstract: Intercultural Communication Competence (ICC) describes the ability to interact with people from different cultures effectively and appropriately. In the impact of globalization and information technology development, social media facilitates intercultural communication and open a new space for intercultural interactions. As the impact of social media on ICC is not often explored, this study would shed light on this unexplored domain and focus on Chinese people who currently live in Sweden by asking the question: How does social media influence the ICC of Chinese people living in Sweden? This study adopts a mixed method: it uses a survey questionnaire followed by individual interviews, collecting both quantitative and qualitative data. As a result, two factors stimulating ICC are identified. The role of social media on ICC when residence in the host country is confirmed, and two stages of ICC development associated with social media in the host country are explored. Last but not least, social media seems to influence the ICC of Chinese people living in Sweden in a positive way, however this positive impact is not independent of real social interaction with the host culture.

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