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SEARCH 7 (2) 2015


Beyond Arbitrary Labels: Understanding Ethnic Identity Development among Chindians
* Rona Chandran & Mohd Yahya Mohammed Ariffin

Abstract:

Malaysia is home to many different ethnic groups. The historical past of the nation has greatly contributed to its multiethnic status today. The National Constitution and the National Principles of Malaysia has assured every citizen the right to religious and cultural freedom, allowing the nation to flourish as a multiethnic state that propagates unity within diversity. The social fabric of the nation and the widening of contact zones has allowed for the occurrence of miscegenation and the existence of biethnic individuals. Sino-Indians or commonly known as Chindians are biethnic individuals who form part of the social composition of the Malaysian population. Based on the constructionist theory of Ethnic Identity Development by Cornell and Hartmann (1998), this paper advocates that ethnic identity is a result of interfaces between cultural and social factors, making it a dynamic developmental process and therefore, should not be reduced to arbitrary labels attached to a person. However, the Malaysian National Birth Registration Policy dictates that Malaysians should neatly fit into the predefined single ethnic categories that has existed for the past 58 years.

Keywords: Sino-Indians, Chindians, biethnic, ethnic identity, culture, social

Pages: 1-17 | First Published: 1 September 2015

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SEARCH 7 (2) 2015


The Seoul Rubber Duck Project: An Ideological Dichotomy
André Kok

Abstract:

An installation of Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman’s “Rubber Duck Project” was on display in Seoul for one month in the fall of 2014 with financial backing from Lotte Group, a large Korean conglomerate. While the installation drew much positive attention, many critics voiced concerns over Lotte using the delightful duck as a way to covertly redirect negative media attention concerning the ongoing construction of the Lotte World Tower and mall towards a more lighthearted subject. Two conflicting themes of escapism and skepticism are identified, explored and discussed through a rhetorical and ideological analysis of this public art installation. Although the Lotte Corporation did not publicly state that the art installation was a means to diffuse or avoid the ongoing communication crisis associated with their tower and mall construction projects, many individuals assumed that to be the case. In addition to communication scholars, this paper could be of interest to business communicators and others interested in the use of public art to diffuse or divert crisis, as well as those interested in the risks involved in such an approach.

Keywords: Ideological analysis, public art, rhetoric, crisis communication

Pages: 19-33 | First Published: 1 September 2015

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SEARCH 7 (2) 2015


Featuring Poverty: An Analysis on the Knowledge Formation of Poverty During the Coverage of Philippine Calamities in 2013
* Karisha Anne E. Cruz & Carla Patrice S. Cucueco

Abstract:

This study examines how knowledge on poverty is formed through news media during the coverage of the 2013 major calamities in the Philippines, particularly, Typhoon Santi, Bohol Earthquake and Super Typhoon Yolanda. We carried out content analysis to identify how the Philippine news media framed the causes and solutions to poverty experienced by victims of these calamities. Results reveal that media primarily portrayed poverty as a problem caused by the devastation of the calamities. The lack of urgency to inform the public on the structural causes of poverty indicates complacency in addressing the problem through sustainable solutions. Moreover, the coverage of pro-poor efforts such as rehabilitation and policy reforms were far less than the coverage on immediate short-term solutions. The study also interviewed officials from various government agencies to shed light on current programs addressing the problem of poverty. The findings reveal that there are sustainable pro-poor solutions being implemented but these solutions were not highlighted in the news. Despite the lapse in journalism ethics and widespread use of sensationalism in the media, government officials deemed the media as a powerful source of information especially on propagating pro-poor solutions. This study provides recommendations on how the media, together with the government, can maximise its role as a catalyst for public knowledge on poverty alleviation.

Keywords: Media framing, poverty, disaster coverage, knowledge management

Pages: 35-59 | First Published: 1 September 2015

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SEARCH 7 (2) 2015


Televised Ecotopianism: An Ecocritical Analysis on Environmental Risk and Risk Reduction Discourses in Philippine Environmental Documentaries
Jason Paolo R. Telles

Abstract:

Environmental and risk communication have become trends in many forms of mass media, including television. In the Philippines, local television stations have joined the bandwagon by producing their own versions of environmental programmes, for example, GMA Network’s award-winning broadcast documentaries such as Signos, Planet Philippines, Wildlife for Sale, and Oras Na. Grounded on the ecocritical theory, this paper discusses the paradigm dominating the discourses on environmental risk and risk reduction in the four documentaries. It has been found that the main framework of presentation and analysis on environmental risks and risk reduction is ecotopianism, which is problematic as it excludes socio-cultural aspects. This paper, therefore, calls for the inclusion of neglected perspectives on the topic such as transgressive ecotopianism, indigenous or traditional knowledge, and eco-Marxism. Presenting such alternative discourses on air encourages a well-informed audience, thus making them empowered to participate in the discussion and formulation of decisions and policies regarding the future of the environment and the planet as a whole.

Keywords: Ecocriticism, environmental documentaries, ecotopianism, risk communication

Pages: 61-82 | First Published: 1 September 2015

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SEARCH 7 (2) 2015


Family Leisure Affair: A Qualitative Study on Negotiating Leisure in Families with OFW Parent
* Mariam Jayne M. Agonos, May Pearl B. Bade, Marielle J. Cabuling & Jason V. Mercene

Abstract:

In the Philippines, more than 10% of the total Filipino population is working overseas in order to provide a better future for their families. While the purpose of parental migration is for financial stability, the compositional change in the family can bring adverse effects on the children left behind. The sudden change in family composition, that is, having a parent away could affect the children’s well-being and upbringing. More often than not, leisure becomes an avenue for parents to compensate for such change, directing leisure activities for the children’s well-being. Thus, this study discusses how a Filipino family with a parent working abroad negotiates its leisure as a family. Specifically, the study describes the family’s leisure before and after the departure of one parent and delves into how family members with an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) parent establish their respective role in deciding on their family leisure. The study utilised the styles of Handling Interpersonal Conflict and the Integrative Analysis of Negotiation as theoretical anchors, and employed four Key Informant Interviews (KIIS) for parents, four KIIs for child only, and a Family Group Discussion (FGD). Findings show that families with an OFW parent usually employ three styles of negotiation, namely: Accommodation, Collaboration, and Competition. The negotiation depends upon the type of leisure, the budget allotted for it, and the parties involved in the activity. Parents, either overseas or left behind, tend to be accommodating of their children’s leisure requests. However, between parents themselves, competition of ideas and suggestions may arise, while children tend to be more collaborative among themselves.

Keywords: Negotiation, overseas-parent, leisure, communication risks

Pages: 83-105 | First Published: 1 September 2015

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