3.16.2012

E-culture Among University Students

SCOPE-ANNAMALAI PSYCHOLOGY JOURNAL, DECEMBER 2006, Vol.2, p:1-7.
INTRODUCTION

Electronic technology is changing our life-style to a great extent. There are many areas of electronic technology helping different sections of a common man. For instance, terms like e-commerce, e-business, e-banking, e-mails, e-organizations, e-governance, e-journals, e-books, e-medicine, internet, web-shopping, etc have become part of the current lexicon. Advances made in the fields of information and communication technology (ICT) and electronics has resulted in the emergence of e-culture. Electronic culture is enveloping the entire world, it is a global phenomenon. Today e-culture is the reality that we live in; it is no longer an option. Kanter (2001) indicates that organization will successfully meet the challenges of the Internet Age only if they become communities of collaborative work relations with distinct e-cultures.

E-culture is also increasingly understood as a new digital media culture or digitalization of culture. Netherlands council for culture in its advisory report on digitalization of culture submitted to the state secretary of education, culture and science (2004) defines e-culture as all about a new, digital dimension; a new and until recently- undreamt of medium with which existing culture must seek to interact and in which new culture is being generated. De Haan and Huysmans (2002) states the term e-culture refers to the diffusion of new technology, its application for various purposes (especially information and communication) and shifts in related attitudes, values and norms. Patel and Rajendran (2005) have defined electronic culture as increased use of electronic goods by individuals in various areas; they have also developed an inventory to measure e-culture. In this research study e-culture was assessed based this perspective.

E-culture is both technological and a social development. There seems to be a widespread consensus that new digital and networking technologies like the World Wide Web (WWW) and the Internet have the capacity to reorder the domains of everyday social and personal life by transforming work and knowledge forms, gender and body politics, health and science, domestic life and entertainment as well as transforming national economics and international relations, democracy and the distribution of power (Dona Kolar-Panov, 2003). The positive approval of the concepts of information society and e-culture are reflected in the keenness with which political decision-makers have taken them over on all levels- local, regional, national and transnational. More accessible and transparent information is an easy expression, something that is unequivocally good. It is good both from the point of view of social resources and democracy. Furthermore, the ideas of an information society and e-cultur e have also implied or, at least to start with, did imply expectations of economic growth and stability, opening up of new sectors of production, increased productivity and the advent of a new, fluctuation-proof economy (Mitchell, 2003). The emergence of e-culture leads to cultural homogenization and immense concentrations of financial power thereby sending the threatening message learn English and buy a computer or youre out (Marsh, 2003). E-culture also makes it imperative to develop digital skill that is to possess knowledge concerning the handling of electronic products especially the use of computer and Internet (De Haan & Huysmans, 2002).

E-culture in India is not different from the international scenario. India certainly is getting transformed into an e-society. The worlds largest democracy (India) is perhaps one of the most uniquely positioned countries in the world. Although India is a developing country, its wealth of information, resources, and knowledge capacity immediately puts the country on the list of top 5 countries in the world. India is also one of the poorest countries in exposing their content on the global platform using digital media. Except TV, among all other medium India and its information assets are weakly represented. However, the scope of Indias strength in this direction is immense. The government of India as well as many NGOs are dedicated and determined to enrich and enhance the e-status of India. Osama Manzars (2005) book The Best E-contents 2005 published by Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF) is an eye-opener regarding the e-contents in India. The Digital Empowerment Foundation ( DEF) has a mission to make India an information-rich country and thereby enrich the world about India's ancient knowledge, skill and its cultural diversity. DEF understands that because of the content gap, the digital divide exists and therefore its foremost mission is to narrow the content gap using information technology (IT), information and communication technology (ICT) and Internet as means.

Culture and personality are interrelated (see Culture-and-Personality studies. Encyclopedia Britannica. 2006). Psychological processes and cultural norms influence one another (Lehman et al, 2004). Recognizing the importance of culture in shaping personality, Allport (1961) was quick to point out that individuals actively select their own way of life that suits their traits, temperaments, values, and philosophy of life. Since e-culture has evolved as a dynamic new medium of information, entertainment and commerce and demands change in life-style, people exhibiting culture conforming or culture rebellious behaviour and high or low novelty seeking or sensation seeking trait may tend to be influenced by it.

Culture plays an important role in the determination of behaviour and in the development of personality is the basic assumption of the concept of cultural determination (see Chauhan, 1985). Acceptance of culture can be measured through conformity or deviant behaviour.

Sensation seeking, as described by Zuckerman (1994) is a trait involving the seeking of varied, novel, complex and intense sensations and experiences. Researches on sensation seeking have accumulated robust evidences for a strong link between sensation seeking and the preference for high arousal, and physical pleasure (Oishi et al, 2001). The personality trait of sensation seeking tend to influence an individuals adjustment and reaction to socio-cultural changes, in general high sensation seekers in their urge for novel experiences will be more receptive to cultural innovations.
PURPOSE OF THE STUDY

E-culture though popular and prevalent, is a recent phenomenon, studies on it appear remote and negligible both at international and national levels. The scientist community has just begun to recognize the importance of e-culture and its influence. At present there are no much substantial empirical evidences available on the impact of e-culture. Even the concept of e-culture currently is tentative and far from conclusive. Researches on e-culture now are only at the beginning of a long process. Reviews indicate that studies on e-culture are fragmented and inadequate. Scanty information is available about the effect of e-culture on social and cultural development. There are no much scientific tools and methods visible to study e-culture. Only recently, the International research community has started showing interest in exploring e-culture. In India, unfortunately, the research efforts in understanding the status of e-culture have still not gained momentum. The research and aca demic community are dormant regarding the influence of e-culture. An examination of related literature in Indian context indicates that e-culture has received poor attention. Hence this investigation is an attempt made to understand the relationship between e-culture and the psychological variables of cultural determination and sensation seeking behaviour.

METHOD

Sample

The sample for this study comprised of 100 students (50 females and 50 males) randomly selected from Annamalai University, Chidambaram Taluk in Cuddalore District, Tamil Nadu. The age range of the sample were between 18 to 24 years (Mean Age= 22.1 years).

Tools used

The research tools used in this study for data collected were the (1) e-culture inventory, (2) Brief sensation seeking behaviour scale, and (3) cultural determination scale, selected after a comprehensive review of related literature.

(1) E-culture inventory

This inventory was developed by Patel and Rajendran (2005) to measure e-culture. The inventory consists of 42 items with 2 responses, i.e., yes and no respectively for each item. The 42 items are classified into 4 areas, namely, home=16 items, office=11 items, personal=8 items and public=7 items. The score for yes in home area is 2, in office is 1, in personal area is 3 and in public area is 1 were as the score for no in all the areas is 0. The maximum score possible in this inventory is 74 and the minimum score is 0. High score indicates high e-culture and low score indicates low e-culture. The reliability and validity co-efficient for this inventory were found to be highly significant at 0.001 levels.

(2)Sensation seeking behaviour scale

This brief measure of the sensation seeking scale traces its origin to the sensation seeking scale (SSS Form V) developed by Zuckerman (1978). The aim of this scale is to assess the sensation seeking level, which is defined both as a personality trait as well as a need. This scale consists of 13 items; each item has two statements A and B pertaining to activities indicating low and high sensation seeking. The respondents are expected to choose one of the two statements which suits them more by circling either A or B. This scale is a self-report and unidimensional. The responses of this scale are grouped into 2 categories. One category comprises of 8 items: 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 11 and 12, the responses of A for these items is given a score of 1 and the B responses are given of 0 scores. The other category comprises of 5 items: 4, 6, 9, and 13, the B responses are given a score of 1 and the responses A are given 0 scores. The maximum possible score that can be obtained by an indiv idual in this scale is 13 and minimum is 0. High score in this scale indicates high sensation seeking and low score indicates low sensation seeking. Zuckerman suggested the following interpretation for this scale: 1-3 very low sensation seeking scores, 4-5 low sensation seeking scores, 6-9 average sensation seeking scores, 10-11 high sensation seeking scores and 12-13 very high sensation seeking scores.

(3) Cultural determination scale

This scale was developed and standardized by Chauhan (1985). The purpose of this scale is to assess cultural determination. This scale indicates conformity and rebellion towards culture in India. The revised version of this scale used for this investigation has 40 items pertaining to Indian culture with 7 responses each (7 point scaling technique), namely, fully, too much, much, average, less, very less, and not at all. It is a unidimensional measure high score indicates cultural conformity and low score indicates cultural rebellion. The reliability and validity co-efficient values yielded for this scale were significant. The constructor of this scale has determined the reliability co-efficient by the test-retest method which was 0.74 and the validity co-efficient was determined with ratings of neighbours knowing the elements intimately which was 0.63. This scale consists of 40 statements; this is a 7 point scale. Each statement is followed by 7 responses, namely, fully, too much, much, average, less, very less and not at all. The response category carries a weight age of 7 to 1scores from fully to not at all. The maximum score an individual can obtain in this scale is 280 and the minimum score possible is 40. High score in this scale indicates cultural conformity and low score indicates cultural rebellion.

Procedure

The samples of this study were personally and individually contacted by the researcher and data was obtained through face-to face interview. The duration of data collection were spread over a period of one month (30 days). The obtained responses were scored and statistically analyzed.



RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

The objective of this research study is to explore the relationship of e-culture with cultural determination and sensation seeking behaviour. For this purpose Pearsons product moment correlation were calculated, since no significant gender differences were found results for both sexes are combined and given in Table 1.

It is inferred from the results summarized in Table 1 that e-culture does not have any significant relationship with cultural determination but is positively and significantly related to sensation seeking behaviour.

The concept of cultural determination assumes that culture determines behaviour. The outcome of this research appear contrary to this assumption, the findings indicate that e-culture is not influenced by culture, culture conformity and culture rebellious behaviour are not related to the use of electronic products. E-culture appears as a Tran cultural phenomenon, it seems to influence people irrespective of their cultural background.

Table 1: Showing the Pearsons moment correlation co-efficient for e-culture with cultural determination and sensation seeking behaviour.

Variables r

Cultural determination 0.034

Sensation seeking behaviour 0.154**

** significant at 0.001 levels

*significant at 0.005 levels

This study reveals a positive and significant relationship between e-culture and sensation seeking behaviour. The finding of this research indicate that high sensation seeking behaviour is related with high e-culture and low sensation seeking behaviour is related to low e-culture. High sensation seekers exhibit preference for high arousal, and physical pleasure and posses an urge for novel experiences (Oishi et al, 2001), since e-culture is highly interactive and is creative in presenting the traditional culture in new digital forms providing people with plethora of novel stimulation and infinite source of information, high sensation seekers tend to be more receptive to it.

CONCLUSION

The present study reveals that cultural determination is not related to e-culture but sensation seeking behaviour is positively and significantly related to e-culture.

REFERENCE

Allport, G. (1961). Patterns and growth in personality. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.

Chauhan, N.S. (1985). Manual for Cultural Determination Scale. Meerut: MAPA.

Culture-and-Personality Studies. Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved May 3, 2006, from Encyclopedia Britannica 2006 Ultimate Reference Suite DVD.

De Haan, J and Huysmans, F. (2002). E-culture: An Empirical Exploration. The Hague: Social and Cultural Plan Bureau. pp. 145-155.

Dona Kolar-Panov (2003). Cautious Optimism for eCulture in Europe. In S. Dragojevic., D. Dodd., B. Cvjeticanin and C. Smithuijsen (Ed)(2005): E-Culture: The European Perspective- Cultural Policy, Creative Industries, Information Lag (From the proceeding of the round table meeting, Zagreb, 24-27 April 2003). Zagreb: Institute of International Relations. pp. 99-106.

Kanter, R. M. (2001). Evolve! Succeeding in the Digital Culture of Tomorrow, Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.

Lehman, D. R., Chiu, C and Schaller, M. (2004). Psychology and Culture. Annual Review of Psychology. 55. pp. 689-714.

Marsh, J. B. T. (2003). Cultural Conflict in the Information Society. In S. Dragojevic., D. Dodd., B. Cvjeticanin and C. Smithuijsen (Ed) (2005): E-Culture: The European Perspective- Cultural Policy, Creative Industries, Information Lag (From the proceeding of the round table meeting, Zagreb, 24-27 April 2003). Zagreb: Institute of International Relations. pp. 21-30.

Mitchell, R. (2003). Information Society and E-culture: On the Rise and Popularity of the Concepts. In S. Dragojevic., D. Dodd., B. Cvjeticanin and C. Smithuijsen (Ed)(2005): E-Culture: The European Perspective- Cultural Policy, Creative Industries, Information Lag (From the proceeding of the round table meeting, Zagreb, 24-27 April 2003). Zagreb: Institute of International Relations. pp. 9-18.

Netherlands Council for Culture. (2004. English Edition). From ICT to E-culture: Advisory report on the digitalization of culture and the implications for cultural policy (Submitted to the Netherlands State Secretary for Education, Culture and Science, June 2003). The Hague: Netherlands Council for Culture Publishing.

Oishi, S., Schimmack, U and Diener, E. (2001). Pleasures and Subjective Well-Being. European Journal of Personality. 15. pp. 153-167.

Osama Manzar (2005). The Best of E-contents 2005. Delhi: Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF).

Patel, J. M. A and Rajendran, K. (2005) E-culture Inventory. SCOPE- Annamalai Psychology Journal, Vol. I, pp. 1-11.

Zuckerman, C. (1978). The Search for High Sensation. Psychology Today. Sussex Publishers, Inc.

Zuckerman, M. (1994). Behavioral expressions and biosocial bases of sensation seeking.Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. www.cambridge.org/0521432006.


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