Lev-On, Azi, and Lissitsa, Sabina. 2018. Facilitating cross-cleavage communication online: Findings from interviews with ultra-orthodox, religious and secular participants. Communication Review, 21(3), 212-227.
One of the key questions addressed by the study of online social media is whether or not they facilitate cross-cleavage communication between users of different nationality, ethnicity, religiosity, and other group affiliations. This study contributes to the literature by addressing communication across religious cleavages, which has scarcely received attention. The study is based on 97 semistructured interviews of a layered sample. Of the respondents, 40 were secular (21 men and 19 women), 28 Modern Orthodox (14 men and 14 women), and 29 ultra-Orthodox (11 men and 18 women). We found that groups differing by their majority/minority status and type of religious observance used the Internet for different purposes. Many secular respondents (members of the majority group in Israel) were motivated to make contact on social media by social needs. On the other hand, ultra-Orthodox respondents (members of the minority group) were exclusively focused on professional objectives as a motivation to use social media. Consequently, their online behaviors were quite different and they more frequently encounter people from groups differing by type of religious observance through social media.