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SEARCH 4 (2) 2012


Attribution Resulting in Miscommunication between Malaysian Employers and Filipino Domestic Helpers
* Francisco Perlas Dumanig, Maya Khemlani David, Hanafi Hussin & Rodney Jubilado

Abstract:

This paper examines the attributes of Malaysian employers as perceived by Filipino domestic helpers and shows how such attributions result in miscommunication. Attribution theory focuses on how people make sense of their world; what cause and effect inferences they make about the behaviours of others and of themselves. Attribution theory is used to explain how domestic helpers assign attributes to their employers and how such perceived attributes influence communication. Twenty Filipino domestic helpers were interviewed at the Filipino Workers’ Resource Center (FWRC) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The individual narratives of domestic helpers were recorded, transcribed and analysed. The analysis focuses specifically on the attributes assigned by domestic helpers to their Malaysian employers. The themes/attributes emerging from the narratives and their effects on communication are discussed. The findings of the study reveal that Filipino domestic helpers label their Malaysian employers with negative attributes such as abusive, controlling, irritable, inconsiderate and disrespectful. Such negative attributes bring negative stereotypes resulting in miscommunication between Malaysian employers and Filipino domestic helpers.

Keywords: Attribution theory, domestic helpers, Filipino, Malaysia, miscommunication

Pages: 1-20 | | First Published: 1 September 2012

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SEARCH 4 (2) 2012


Depending on the Media: The Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process in Cross-National Opinions
Yakubu Ozohu-Suleiman & Md. Sidin Ahmad Ishak

Abstract:

This study examines the relationship between viewers’ dependence on major international news media and their opinions on how core issues of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict could be resolved. The study is premised on the theoretical assumption that Media System Dependency (MSD) can be helpful as a means of evaluating the importance of particular media outlets in determining opinion and behaviour. The study utilises mixed content analysis and survey methods. The content analysis focuses on within-article salience to determine relative media emphasis on core issues of the conflict. The survey involved over 600 viewers of BBC World, Al-Jazeera English, CNN International and Press TV across Nigeria and Malaysia, and focuses on the viewers’ opinions on how to resolve core issues of the conflict. Results show that dependence on media sources predicted and explained significant proportions of the viewers’ opinions on how each core issues of the conflict, including the status of Hamas in the peace process could be resolved. No significant relationship was found between dependence on media sources and the viewers’ opinions on which of the core issues require the most urgent attention in resolving the conflict. In conclusion, media’s presence in the viewers’ opinions on how core issues of the Israeli- Palestinian conflict could be resolved was relative to the viewers’ dependence on the media sources, thus backing the theoretical assumption of MSD and the proposition that media are able to shape peace in Israel/Palestine by applying coverage to the structure of peace in the conflict.

Keywords: Conflict reporting, Israeli-Palestinian, Media System Dependency theory, peace reporting

Pages: 21-40 | | First Published: 1 September 2012

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SEARCH 4 (2) 2012


The Internet and Online News: A Case Study of Urban Youths in the Klang Valley
* Carmen S.M. Nge, Sharon Wilson, Pauline P.Y. Leong & Ngerng M. H.

Abstract:

When the Internet was introduced, there were comparatively few websites, especially news websites. Furthermore, only those who were privileged could have access to the Internet. These mostly comprised political parties who developed and maintained discussion groups and websites to disseminate news. Today, new media technology’s drastic developments in the communications field has had a big impact on society at large. The development and pervasive availability of information and activities seem to offer people the opportunity of quick access, and systematically allowing for, in seconds, what would have previously taken months, pursuing newspaper stacks of microfilm rolls. These features supersede the more traditional print medium in terms of delivering news with immediacy and impact, and act as a powerful lure that continually draws readers. This paper questions online consumer behaviour with regard to the use of the Internet and explores the reasons for this use. From a survey of 1,000 students of institutions of higher education in the Klang Valley, findings reveal that youths still rely on traditional media to obtain news. Hence, it is not 100% migration to new media, unlike in the United States and Europe. However, almost all respondents own a computer and go online daily. Only a few areas of consumer behaviour show some significant differences between gender and ethnic groups in terms of their online activities. Findings also reveal that the top online news site is MalaysiaKini with all others coming in a pale second. It can, therefore, be said that there is no complete migration to the Internet for news. Students’ access of online news is still very much in the one-way communication mode (i.e. to get facts and not necessarily to interact or dialogue).

Keywords: Consumer behaviour, Internet, online, youth

Pages: 41-59 | | First Published: 1 September 2012

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SEARCH 4 (2) 2012


Politeness Strategies in Openings and Closings of Service Encounters in Two Malaysian Agencies
* Maya Khemlani David, Kuang Ching Hei & Caesar DeAlwis

Abstract:

Opening and closing a conversation can be activated both verbally and non-verbally, depending on participants, topic, and setting. While some types of opening and closing of conversations are perceived politely, others are perceived impolitely because cultures vary. Politeness is developed by societies in order to reduce friction in personal interaction and when taken in that light, politeness enhances rapport and establishes convergence in communication. Politeness can be used as a strategy to build relationships and minimise social distance between speakers and in any communication, it is of importance. This paper focuses on the politeness strategies used by front counter staff of two governmentlinked full-fledged companies: Post Offices and the EPF (Employees Provident Fund) based in an urban area of the Klang Valley. The study observed both verbal and non-verbal cues used in openings and closings during service encounters in these two government linked companies. Data were obtained through audio and manual recordings of the said interactions which occurred during office hours. In particular, a total of seven staff were observed i.e. five in the post offices and two in the EPF. The total interactions encountered and recorded were 228 and they were transcribed orthographically. Using Brown and Levinson’s (1987) framework of Face Threatening Acts (FTA), findings suggest that both staff and the public seldom perform openings and closings. Both parties also rarely greet and address each other. Although data is limited to only two government-linked companies, findings indicate that phatic communication hardly takes place between service providers and service takers. This finding could therefore be used by researchers in communication as one step towards developing training courses for service providers of governmentlinked companies who meet the general public on a daily basis.

Keywords: Politeness, phatic communication, rapport management, verbal communication

Pages: 61-76 | | First Published: 1 September 2012

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Trends and Development of Elections, Civil Liberties and Democracy in the Muslim World (1998 – 2008)
Rohaizan Baharuddin

Abstract:

This study examines the trends, development and practices of democracy (DV), civil liberties and elections (IVs) in 47 Muslim countries between the years 1998 to 2008. Based on secondary quantitative data primarily collected from Freedom House and analysed using SPSS, this study demonstrates the aggregate findings as follows - the ‘not free not fair’ elections, the ‘limited’ civil liberties and the ‘Illiberal Partial Democracy’ were the most dominant nature of elections, civil liberties and democracy practised in the Muslim world; and with 66.67% occurrences, elections proved to be the better predictor of democracy compared to civil liberties with only 31.58%. While this study concentrates on political variables as determinants of democracy, future research may consider other socioeconomic variables such as economic development, citizens’ level of education, social mobilisation activities, etc.

Keywords: Civil liberties, democracy, election, Muslim world politics

Pages: 77-99 | | First Published: 1 September 2012

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SEARCH 4 (2) 2012


Paradigm Shift in Journalism Education at University Levels in South Asia: In Search of a New Adaptive Model*
Mohammad Sahid Ullah

Abstract:

Journalism and media sectors in South Asian countries have been experiencing significant developments since the 1990s with the emergence of a good number of newspapers and magazines, inception of news agencies and private radio and television channels equipped with modern technology. Journalism educators often try to keep pace with this fastmoving media industry despite their numerous limitations. In fact, any change in the industry influences or affects the syllabus redesigning process. As the profession changes its nature in the face of new challenges from factors like corporatisation of the industry, globalisation and new media intervention along with the dispute between educators and professionals, journalism departments at universities are struggling to adapt to the changing scenario. These changes are also puzzling journalism educators in reaching any comprehensive agreement on what syllabi would best fit the potential needs of the emerging sectors. The challenges discussed in this article would help find a contextual solution in regard to preparing a suitable and adaptive course curriculum for journalism students at universities in South Asia. Focusing on the reasons for accepting the western notion of journalism education, the failure of readymade curricula - the UNESCO model- and the complexity of journalism education and practices in various regions, this paper offers a new approach to form a generic model by analysing the contemporary global trends of journalism education and the context of new needs and demands arising in South Asian nations.

Keywords: Common model, journalism education, media industry, paradigm shift, South Asia

Pages: 101-114 | First Published: 1 September 2012

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