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Title: Self-disclosure and relationship development among Malaysian female bloggers
Author: Syed Zainudin, Sharifah S.
ISNI:       0000 0004 9346 8808
Awarding Body: University of Leicester
Current Institution: University of Leicester
Date of Award: 2020
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This thesis investigates the phenomenon of self-disclosure and relationship development through a case study of a group of Malaysian female bloggers known as ‘Scarflet Sisters'. Theoretically, the study draws upon social penetration theory and social information processing theory. A mixed methods design was employed: content analysis of the 20 Scarflet Sisters blogs and interviews with the 10 Scarflet Sisters bloggers. The findings indicate that the blogs, blogging practices and self-disclosure patterns reflect certain aspects of the bloggers' identities. The most frequent topics for breadth of self-disclosure relate to major aspects of these bloggers' lifestyles and identities as Muslim women, focusing on narratives around self-biographies, life events, activities, the value and practice of wearing the hijab, fashion, religious faith, beauty and the commercial aspects of blogging. The findings on the depth of self-disclosure indicate that bloggers mostly disclosed at an intermediate level of intimacy, demonstrating increased depth of disclosure to gain trust from their followers, especially on topics, such as self-biographies, feelings and emotions, personal experiences, as well as the hijab, fashion and religion. In fact, the breadth and the depth of self-disclosure correlate with the Scarflet Sisters' practices of developing relationships via blogs. That is to say that these bloggers appear to be more likely to self-disclose when exhibiting positive attitudes to develop their relationship with other bloggers and readers. Additionally, the motives for blogging, factors for self-disclosure, trust, honesty and accuracy of blog contents determine positively the bloggers' desire to initiate closer relationships via blogs. The results of the study provide support for the SPT and SIPT theories and suggest that for relationships to develop via blogs there must be an exchange of personal information through sufficient breadth and depth of bloggers' self-disclosure, with blog features including comment box, hyperlinks and blogroll supporting the exchange of information on blogs.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Self-disclosure ; Relationship Development ; Female Bloggers ; Malaysia ; Social media platforms