by Britty Johnson

The University of West Georgia’s College of Social Sciences recently welcomed Associate Professor of Mass Communications Dr. Soo Moon to share her research findings for a comparative analysis that she conducted on the Internet and social capital among youth in China, Japan, Korea, and the United States.

Dr. Soo Moon Completes Youth-Focused Research Study in Asia
Left to right: Dr. Amber Smallwood, Dr. Soo Moon, and Dr. Brad Yates

Prior to working as a professor at UWG, Dr. Moon worked as a professional journalist for 12 years in Seoul, South Korea. Her past research studies have focused on the social implications of the media and investigated changes that are occurring as the result of the introduction of new technology and media ethics. For her most recent two-month long research study, Dr. Moon developed detailed focal points and questions focusing on youth internet usage and its effect on social capitals, which she gathered research for through face-to-face interviews.

Some of the points included how the aspects, interests, and locality of individuals contribute to their social engagement on the web. She highlighted the media and how much time youth spent on social media platforms, such as Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, and how their differences in location affect this. She presented many comparative statistics for television and Internet usage and social capital and used these statistics to compare usage and community engagement among youth in China, Japan, Korea, and the U.S.

Dr. Moon focused on subjects such as the concept of cyber trusting and building a group of online friends via social media and just how common this has become among youth. She mentioned how the growing concept of cyber trusting is contributing to the building of social capital and exactly how beneficial it is for society. Dr. Moon’s research emphasized just how powerful and significant communication is in not only the U.S., but also in Asiatic countries. Dr. Moon’s research found that the U.S is under moderate influence of the Internet in comparison to Korea and Japan, who are under moderate to strong influence. And China is under the strongest influence of the Internet among the four studied countries. Overall, she found that communication has transformed significantly in the past years, and it has affected the way youth engage with one another as well as how they receive information.

Mass communications professors Dr. Brad Yates and Dr. Amber Smallwood were present at the event participating with other faculty, staff, and students in an active question and answer session with Dr. Moon following her presentation, which started an engaging conversation about the study and comparisons between the countries in the study.

Posted on November 5, 2015