Global Social Media Design: Bridging Differences Across Cultures

ISBN : 9780190845582

Huatong Sun
280 Pages
156 x 235 mm
Pub date
Mar 2020
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Social media users fracture into tribes, but social media ecosystems are globally interconnected technically, socially, culturally, and economically. At the crossroads, Huatong Sun, author of Cross-Cultural Technology Design, presents theory, method, and case studies to uncover the global interconnectedness of social media design and reorient universal design standards. Centering on the dynamics between structure and agency, Sun draws on practice theories and transnational fieldwork and articulates a critical design approach. The "CLUE2 (CLUE squared)" framework extends from situated activity to social practice, and connects macro institutions with micro interactions to redress asymmetrical relations in everyday life.

Why were Japanese users not crazed about Facebook? Would Twitter have had been more successful than its copycat Weibo in China if not banned? How did mobilities and value propositions play out in the competition of WhatsApp, WeChat, LINE, and KakaoTalk for global growth? Illustrating the cultural entanglement with a relational view of design, Sun provides three provocative accounts of cross-cultural social media design and use. Concepts such as affordance, genre, and uptake are demonstrated as design tools to bind the material with the discursive and leap from the critical to the generative for culturally sustaining design.

Sun calls to reshape the crossroads into a design square where differences are nourished as design resources, where diverse discourses interact for innovation, and where alternative design epistemes thrive from the local. This timely book will appeal to researchers, students, and practitioners who design across disciplines, paradigms, and boundaries to bridge differences in this increasingly globalized world.


List of Tables

List of Figures


1. A Move to Global Design

2. Designing for Empowerment with a Critical Practice Approach

3. Understanding the Criticality of Differences in Cross-Cultural Design

4. Facebook Japan: Connecting Micro to Macro with Discursive Affordances

5. Weibo of China: Hybridizing Performative Practice into Normative Genre

6. War of Social Messaging Platforms: Articulating Local Uptakes for Global Innovation and Competition

7. Reshaping Crossroads into a Design Square


About the author: 

Huatong Sun is Associate Professor of Digital Media and Global Design at the University of Washington Tacoma, USA. Her previous book, Cross-Cultural Technology Design: Creating Culture-Sensitive Technology for Local Users (Oxford 2012), won a best technical communication book award from the National Council of Teachers of English of U.S.

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