Abstract

The article discusses the impact of cultural attitudes on the formation of online social network among Russian settlers on the island of Bali (Indonesia). On the basis of online networks by users of vk.com networking site the authors build the “local” and “global” models of online networks of users living in Bali. The “local” model consisted of users living in Bali, the “global” model included their links with other regions.

One of the key hypothesis was the assumption that the shared cultural attitudes of the networking site users act as “markers” which help to establish contacts and links, determining the formation of a social network structure. A sample was made for every main structural segment of the network and visual content of users’ profiles was analyzed. Assigning labels for occupations and hobbies allowed to reveal to what extent users share a common cultural set of attitudes.

The analysis showed that the formation of online ties with other participants on the basis of shared social and cultural representations is a characteristic pattern of network interaction. The more cultural attitudes an individual will share with other participants, the tighter will be the core of common ties to which he or she belongs. Conversely, the less online ties will be focused on other participants in the thematic cultural field, the more peripheral will be the position of an individual regarding the density of the core common ties. However, the more an individual life strategy as cultural setting involves support for online environment, the more dense network of online contacts surrounds him or her. Thus, the online medium is an important segment of the social and cultural space among the Russians in Bali, helping to build relations and to form cultural attitudes.

Keywords: social anthropology, social network, online communication, networking sites, cultural attitudes, local community