A cross-national study of cultural values and contextual norms of mobile phone activity

Robert Shuter, Sumana Chattopadhyay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The mobile phone is no longer just a medium of talk. Utilized more for text messaging than calling, mobile devices - with the ascendance of smart phones - are now used for a multiplicity of digital purposes in myriad social contexts. Limited research has been conducted cross-nationally on contextual norms that guide the social uses of mobiles and sociocultural factors that drive these norms. This exploratory study examines the impact of cultural values on mobile phone activity, defined as calling, text messaging or use of other smart phone functions when conversing face-to-face with others. It was found that vertical and horizontal individualism are strong predictors of mobile phone activity in Denmark and the USA. Horizontal individualists, represented by Danes, are significantly more likely than Americans, vertical individualists, to engage in mobile activity when conversing with authority figures and while at work. A cultural values explanation of mobile phone activity is offered along with the salience of this investigation for intercultural new media studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)61-70
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Multicultural Discourses
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014


  • cultural values
  • intercultural communication
  • intercultural new media
  • mobile communication

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Communication
  • Linguistics and Language


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