عنوان مقاله [English]
Introduction and Purpose of the Research: the development of modern communication technologies and on top of it Internet and communication networks have provided a space for re-establishing identity. Virtual social networks as one of the newest mode of communication provides a vast context of communication at the global space and in various areas of economic, social, cultural, and political grounds. It allows users to maintain social relationships, find new friends, change, and develop websites, and find partners so to contribute to developing experience and widen membership, and activate meaningful participation of the users. It is also a social space that has heavily influenced the link between the essential elements of identity-time, place, space, and the boundaries of social life. The present research was conducted in this direction with the aim of investigating and recognizing the relation of virtual social networks with the global identity.
Theoretical framework: Theoretical framework of the research is of a mixed type, based on Castells' and Rheingold's theories. As Castells believes, the role of the media is now key, and in fact, the media are reproducing a new type of society. I such social system, mass communication technologies play a fundamental role, and various discourses, lifestyles and all social values are defined by the media. In addition, Rheingold believes that participating in local virtual communities, ethnic, regional, etc. strengthens the native aspects of identity and participation in international and global communities in virtual space. This in turn, leads to the formation of a global or cosmopolitan identity among internet users. The theoretical claim of the paper here is the same as that of Castells and Rheingold.
Research method: This research survey was conducted among a sample of students at the University of Sistan and Baluchestan. Total sample size amounted to 400 students who were selected according to Cochran formula. Actual samples were selected based on a stratified sampling technique. We used the face validity method in order to evaluate the validity of the research tool. In this field, the questionnaire was given to the experts to express their opinions on the questions; then they received their opinion regarding the correction of questions. Then, 30 students of the University of Sistan and Baluchestan filled the questionnaire. The items that were inaccurate and unclear to the respondents were deleted in the final version of the questionnaire. In addition, we ran Cronbach's alpha test to measure the reliability of the questionnaire so to determine the explanatory power of the items of the scale.
Findings: Some of the findings indicate that the underlying variables, i.e., the variables age and education have a significant relationship with the global identity. In addition, the variable ethnicity has a significant relationship with the global identity. Therefore, there is a significant difference in the level of global identity among the ethnic groups. Two ethnics groups, i.e., Kords and Fars have the highest degree of global identity. Data analysis also showed that there is a significant relationship between the variables among users of the virtual social network. They include "use of internet", "duration of using virtual social networks" and the global identity of the users. There were no significant relationships between the two variables of the use of virtual social networks and the feeling of freedom in the virtual social networks.
Conclusion: According to the findings of the present research, virtual social networks as some type of virtual community can strengthen the global identity and strengthen the local aspects of national identity. This means that being internet user will strengthen local identities and will increase users' local identities. In other words, virtual social networks can strengthen global or transnational identities.
Prominent results: The main contributions and findings of the present research rest in the fact that it addresses the issue of global identity and its relations to the virtual social networks. It also indicates how global identity relates to the ethnic groups. Moreover, according to the findings of this research, it can be claimed that cyberspace and virtual social networks have served as means of strengthening global identity among ethnic groups. In addition, these virtual social networks have increased the users' sense of belonging to the national and global identity. Accordingly, it can be said that despite the fact that the province of Sistan and Baluchestan and the University of Sistan and Baluchestan are geographically located on the border and are on the margins, the rate of using virtual social networks are high and, consequently, some changes in the national and transnational identity of the users is evident.