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SEARCH 10 (2) 2018


Duterte’s image building in the 2016 Philippine presidential debates
Orville B. Tatcho

Abstract:

Debates are an interesting platform for image building given that they are only partially controlled by the candidates. This study looks into how the then President-elect Rodrigo Duterte harnessed the potential of the 2016 Philippine presidential debates for image building. The objectives of the study were to explain the role of mediation in Duterte’s image building, uncover Duterte’s strategies and topics in the debates, and critique the arising discourses in the televised debates. Using Fairclough’s Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) and Benoit’s Functional theory of political campaign discourse, this paper argues that mediation shaped and influenced Duterte’s strategies and topics. Duterte used the dominant strategies of acclaiming and attacking in line with media’s quest for spectacle and controversy. Moreover, Duterte had more policy pronouncements (issue topics) than character statements (image topics) which resulted in two dominant discourses—the discourse of provision and protection. A critique of these discourses reveals that Duterte used the debates to peddle an image of a paternalistic, iron-handed leader who resorted to shortcuts and appeals to expediency at the expense of more informed policy discussions.

Keywords: debates, Duterte, elections, Philippines, campaign discourse

Pages: 1-30 | First Published: 1 September 2018

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SEARCH 10 (2) 2018


Social media privacy and the law: Perspectives from Malaysian and UK consumers
* Jason J Turner & Puteri Sofia Amirnuddin

Abstract:

The aims of this study are two-fold: firstly to investigate the perspectives of individuals from Malaysia and the UK to understand their views of responsibility and areas of concern about social media in the context of their respective countries and secondly, to examine the role that the law has to play in protecting an individual within the context of social media privacy and the disclosure of personal information. The methodology employed was a convenience sample and google survey with 164 social media users in Malaysia and the UK with supporting evidence provided by follow up interviews with 20 individuals to explore themes that emerge from the quantitative research. The study reveals that the robustness of the law concerning consumer privacy differs between Malaysia and the UK with Malaysia having one Act1 and the UK having two Acts2. However, the varying robustness of the laws protecting consumer privacy on social media had little effect on how an individual views privacy, with the perspectives of respondents being almost identical regardless of the country they lived in. The majority of respondents from both countries indicated it was the responsibility of the ‘collective’, (the provider, the community, the law and the individual), and not just one stakeholder and/or the legal apparatus to protect a user’s privacy online. Respondents felt social media users had to take more responsibility for their privacy and the consequences of any invasion of that privacy with the concept of privacy protection viewed as not just data protection but an all-encompassing phrase which includes how users interact with the platform, the treatment of company and personal information and the rights to access that information. These findings have practical and social implications, which centre on the need for all stakeholders to take ‘collective’ responsibility for online privacy and the protection of their personal information and for users to be better educated on how they interact with social media. The study should prove useful to consumers and businesses who are already interacting with social media and lawmakers who attempt to enforce the law.

Keywords: Malaysia law; UK law; privacy; personal information; social media

Pages: 31-58 | First Published: 1 September 2018

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SEARCH 10 (2) 2018


Adopting masculine traits to get ahead – An exploratory study of Malaysian female & male public relations practitioners’ job role & organisational position disparities
Chuan Tek Pheung

Abstract:

This study explores the disparities in the job-role enactments and promotion opportunities of Malaysian female and male public relations practitioners, and the adoption of masculine traits by female practitioners to counter the male-biased and masculine-centric organisational glass ceiling. The significant contrast of a femalemajority PR industry and a mainly male-monopolised management trend has been evidenced by researchers for years. Positively studies conducted in recent years have given new hopes to female practitioners, who are increasingly being promoted to lead PR departments, thus the glass ceiling was seemingly broken. This study, based on the feminist theory framework, examines job-roles and organisational positioning disparities from the perspective of gender-traits (feminine and masculine), in contrast with previous research that mainly focused on biological-sex differences (female and male). The qualitative data for this study comes from semi-structured interviews and open-ended questions with nine female and three male practitioners. The findings highlight that PR departments are mainly led by female practitioners, who enjoy equal advancement opportunities as their male colleagues. Results also show the successful organisational positioning of female practitioners who adopted masculine traits; however, organisational top management circles remain a male-majority domain. In addition, male PR practitioners have stronger influences among organisational higher-ups, while their female counterparts are burdened by family-versus-work commitments.

Keywords: public relations, job roles, gender traits, feminist theory, organisational position disparities

Pages: 59-86 | First Published: 1 September 2018

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SEARCH 10 (2) 2018


Debating vernacular school system in Malaysia: A comparative analysis of multi-lingual local newspapers
* Ong Sheau Wen & Ihediwa Samuel Chibundu

Abstract:

The vernacular school system in Malaysia has long been controversial, with national integration a focal point. Oftentimes, the range of voices over issue definition and interpretation is linked to a process of inter-ethnic negotiation and contestation with media becoming an important platform for public debate. Building on the notion that media framing has important implications for public discussion and government policy through content selection and emphasis, the present study analyses the framing of the vernacular school system in the news coverage of Malaysia’s multi-lingual newspapers. A total of 555 news stories published throughout 2015 were content analyzed. It was found that both Chinese and Malay language newspapers have somewhat different focus in that they were primarily concerned with reporting education issues from a specific ethnic perspective. Interestingly, the English newspaper with its mostly English-educated, ethnically more diverse readership inclined to provide a bigpicture understanding of the issue under study. Results of the study suggest that the ethnic focus of Chinese and Malay newspapers posed an obstacle to reporting on diversity and thus limiting the experience of their readers in a culturally homogenous setting despite their popularity. One strength of the English newspaper lay in the inclusiveness of its coverage where the readers could receive news from every nook and corner of the multi-ethnic society. This study will contribute to the literature on news framing of education issues by providing a better understanding of the opportunities and challenges facing vernacular schools, which could serve as a consideration of the government policy-making process towards equitable development of public education at all levels.

Keywords: framing, vernacular education, national integration, ethnic identity, Malaysian media

Pages: 87-114 | First Published: 1 September 2018

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SEARCH 10 (2) 2018


Convergence of visual interpretation through collective practices of masculinity in a Malaysian televised show
* Uma Rani A Rethina Velu & Surinderpal Kaur

Abstract:

A televised show is much more than a mere tool of entertainment especially when it concerns concepts such as gender and masculinity. The dynamics of a television scene can articulate different discourses of masculinity within the interplay of its visual processes. These visual processes could create meanings that either reinforce or challenge societal notions of masculinity. This can be further compounded when repeatedly broadcast to a particular segment of society that is both conservative and religious. This paper investigates how masculinity is performed through collective practices in the visual interpretation of a televised show, Oh My English! Adopting the Representation and Viewer Network together with the Visual Social Actor Network, this paper analyses the visual features of group interaction among the main male teenage social actors in a particular scene from an episode of the show. Group performances within scenes are also discussed and the findings are linked together to explore the representation and construction of masculinity. The findings reveal not only the interpretation of masculinity from different hierarchal positionings through a heterosexual-heteronormative perspective but also that the presence of a female social actor plays a significant role in ‘doing’ masculinity. The findings furthermore highlight that dissent in the performance of heteronormative masculinity is possible and in fact is visually represented.

Keywords: media discourse, social actor representation, hegemonic masculinity, visual interpretation, television show

Pages: 115-136 | First Published: 1 September 2018

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