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Engineering    2018, Vol. 4 Issue (1) : 94 -102
Research |
Theories of Social Media: Philosophical Foundations
Jiayin Qi1,2,3,Emmanuel Monod1,2(),Binxing Fang3,4,5,Shichang Deng1,2
1. School of Management, Shanghai University of International Business and Economics, Shanghai 201620, China
2. Institute of Artificial Intelligence and Change Management, Shanghai University of International Business and Economics, Shanghai 200336, China
3. Institute of Cyberspace Advanced Technology, Guangzhou University, Guangzhou 510006, China
4. China Electronics Corporation, Beijing 100082, China
5. Key Laboratory of Trustworthy Distributed Computing and Service of Ministry of Education, Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications, Beijing 100876, China

Although many different views of social media coexist in the field of information systems (IS), such theories are usually not introduced in a consistent framework based on philosophical foundations. This paper introduces the dimensions of lifeworld and consideration of others. The concept of lifeworld includes Descartes’ rationality and Heidegger’s historicity, and consideration of others is based on instrumentalism and Heidegger’s ‘‘being-with.” These philosophical foundations elaborate a framework where different archetypal theories applied to social media may be compared: Goffman’s presentation of self, Bourdieu’s social capital, Sartre’s existential project, and Heidegger’s ‘‘shared-world.” While Goffman has become a frequent reference in social media, the three other references are innovative in IS research. The concepts of these four theories of social media are compared with empirical findings in IS literature. While some of these concepts match the empirical findings, some other concepts have not yet been investigated in the use of social media, suggesting future research directions.

Keywords Social media      Lifeworld      Consideration of others      Rationality      Historicity      Instrumentalism      Being-with      Presentation of self     
Corresponding Authors: Emmanuel Monod   
Just Accepted Date: 06 March 2018   Issue Date: 10 April 2018
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Jiayin Qi
Emmanuel Monod
Binxing Fang
Shichang Deng
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Jiayin Qi,Emmanuel Monod,Binxing Fang, et al. Theories of Social Media: Philosophical Foundations[J]. Engineering, 2018, 4(1): 94 -102 .
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