Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 2

uses and gratifications Related Abstracts

2 The Use of Smartphones as a News Resource by Female University Students in the UAE

Authors: Mahinaz Saad

Abstract:

Little empirical data exists regarding smartphone usage for news consumption in the UAE, and no previous research explored undergraduate female university students’ usage of smartphones. This represents a gap in the professional literature and makes it an important area to examine. Uses and Gratifications theory is used to study the motivations of consumers for adopting a particular type of communication tool. This theory is an audience-centred approach to understanding mass communication that assumes audiences are active consumers of media and explains why and how people seek out specific media to satisfy needs. This theory is particularly relevant given the rapid development of new communication technologies. Situated within this theoretical framework, this study utilised a quantitative research design to explore respondents’ (N=488) how and why respondents use their smartphones. Further, this study explored the relationship between mobile news use and the use of other mediums for news access and how different gratifications predict mobile hard news use and mobile soft news use. Results revealed that smartphones often replace traditional media as a news source and have become students’ primary source of news. Results also revealed that different gratifications can be used as a predictor of mobile hard news and soft news and that most students use their smartphones to access soft news. These results are fundamental in allowing us to predict possible future trends relating to news consumption in the UAE and the myriad ways in which the media landscape is changing.

Keywords: smartphones, university students, uses and gratifications, News consumption

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1 Digital Employment of Disabled People: Empirical Study from Shanghai

Authors: Han Xiao, Yan Zi

Abstract:

Across the globe, ICTs are influencing employment both as an industry that creates jobs and as a tool that empowers disabled people to access new forms of work, in innovative and more flexible ways. The advancements in ICT and the number of apps and solutions that support persons with physical, cognitive and intellectual disabilities challenge traditional biased notions and offer a pathway out of traditional sheltered workshops. As the global leader in digital technology innovation, China is arguably a leader in the use of digital technology as a 'lever' in ending the economic and social marginalization of the disabled. This study investigates factors that influence adoption and use of employment-oriented ICT applications among disabled people in China and seeks to integrate three theoretical approaches: the technology acceptance model (TAM), the uses and gratifications (U&G) approach, and the social model of disability. To that end, the study used data from self-reported survey of 214 disabled adults who have been involved in two top-down 'Internet + employment' programs promoted by local disabled persons’ federation in Shanghai. A structural equation model employed in the study demonstrates that the use of employment-oriented ICT applications is affected by demographic factors of gender, categories of disability, education and marital status. The organizational support of local social organizations demonstrates significate effects on the motivations of disabled people. Results from the focus group interviews particularly suggested that to maximize the positive impact of ICTs on employment, there is significant need to build stakeholder capacity on how ICTs could benefits persons with disabilities.

Keywords: ICTs, disabled people, technology acceptance model, uses and gratifications, the social model of disability

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