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SEARCH 8 (1) 2016


The Representation of Government Agencies in the Health Debates on Radio Frequency (RF) Exposure in Malaysia
* Prasana Rosaline Fernandez, Surinderpal Kaur & Ng Kwan Hoong

Abstract:

Government departments and agencies are an important stakeholder group in risk communication specifically on environmental risks as they are directly involved in the implementation of guidelines and policies and in the communication of relevant initiatives to the public. Entrusted with policy-making and legislative powers, they therefore play a crucial role in the rising health debates on radio frequency (RF) emissions from telecommunication structures. RF exposure from the proliferation of base stations and rooftop antennas in Malaysia triggers concerns as a growing number of people claim that it is cancer causing and as such a health hazard. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to investigate the representation of the various social actors in the government departments and agencies in Malaysia in the health debates on RF exposure from telecommunication structures. Using van Leeuwen’s social actor framework, this research aims to reveal the kinds of identities that are embedded in the discourse, specifically on how this group of social actors represent themselves in the health debates. The data is from five (5) face-to-face interviews with representatives from the regulator of the telecommunication industry, the health department and the local town councils. The findings suggest that the members of this stakeholder group are decision makers and interdependent in handling this perceived health risk. Yet they passivate the other, though they are part of the same stakeholder group, for lack of commitment and this blame avoidance hinders effective risk communication.

Keywords: Social actor, Representation, Risk communication, Government, Radio frequency

Pages: 1-16 | First Published: 1 March 2016

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SEARCH 8 (1) 2016


Chinese Culture and Customs in Peranakan Funerals in Malaysia and Singapore
* Lokasundari Vijaya Sankar, David Hock Jin Neo & Antoon De Rycker

Abstract:

The Peranakan community is studied in a qualitative manner to understand and document the customs and traditions that underlie the Peranakan funeral. This research was informed and guided by Social Identity Theory (Tajfel and Turner, 1979a), which explores the meanings associated with being members of a social group. Social identity theorists have argued that because people define themselves in terms of their social group membership, they enact roles as part of their acceptance of the normative expectations of in group members. This shapes how communities come to understand and enact roles which make them part of a social group. Interviews were conducted with senior members of the Peranakan community and undertakers to aid in fulfilling the objective of the study. In addition, observations of funerals greatly enhanced the study. Findings from the analysis of funeral customs show that the Social Identity of the Peranakan community is seen in the observance of filial piety of children to their parents, patriarchal customs, a show of grief and adherence to Chinese religious customs. Status and wealth is also part of the community’s social identity.

Keywords: Social Identity Theory; Peranakan funeral, filial piety; Babas and Nyonyas

Pages: 17-36 | First Published: 1 March 2016

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SEARCH 8 (1) 2016


A Transgressive Voice in a Restrictive Media Environment: A Study of Sinar Harian Coverage of the 2013 Malaysian General Election
Mohd Faizal Kasmani

Abstract:

Malaysian newspapers have a responsibility to be catalysts for national development. For that reason, newspapers in Malaysia are expected to not challenge the state and to partner the state toward nation-building. Although mainstream media in Malaysia are restricted by the state, this does not completely exclude more transgressive modes pushed by challengers. One of the newspapers that could be regarded as breaking the norm in its coverage with other mainstream newspapers in Malaysia is Sinar Harian. This research will study the kinds of transgressive forms of contention that tend to surface through the reporting of the newspaper. The reporting by Sinar Harian during the 2013 Malaysian General Election is subject to qualitative discourse analysis. The result shows that not only did Sinar Harian give space to the opposition group to challenge the authorities, but the newspaper also, at times, challenged the status quo by placing the ruling coalition Barisan National and opposition coalition Pakatan Rakyat on an equal footing.

Keywords: Malaysia; mainstream newspapers; journalism; political communication; election; discourse analysis

Pages: 37-55 | First Published: 1 March 2016

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SEARCH 8 (1) 2016


Young Adult Malaysian Consumers’ Attitude and Purchase Intentions of CSR Supported Grocery Brands
* Thinavan Periyayya, Dr. G. V. Nair, Raduan Shariff, Zachary Roland & Dr. Thanaseelan

Abstract:

Environment and people considerations have become a major focus of business organizations in Malaysia and around the world. Both considerations fall under the new corporate social responsibility (CSR) catchphrase – People, Planet and Profits. CSR is concerned with business responsibilities beyond profit-maximisation (Dodd & Supa, 2011). The main purpose of this study is to evaluate the relationship between young adult Malaysian consumers’ purchase intention and an organization’s involvement in CSR programs. The study predicts that a positive association exists between an organization’s involvement in CSR programs and consumer purchase intention (Dodd & Supa, 2011) and that consumers are more likely to purchase an organization’s product if that organization is involved in socially responsible practices (Sen & Bhattacharya, 2001). Mohr, Webb and Harris’s (2001) research indicated a significant relationship between CSR and consumer response. According to Pomering and Dolnicar (2008) consumers expect corporations to provide information on their CSR initiatives so as to enable them to support such organizations. As society becomes more affluent, consumers tend to focus on socially responsible activities undertaken by organizations and this has a definite influence on their purchase behaviour. Findings revealed that young Malaysian consumers were CSR centric and had a positive attitude towards organizations practising CSR. All three independent variables of attitude, subjective norm and behavioural control were positively correlated to consumer intentions to purchase CSR supported grocery brand. The findings also revealed that CSR knowledge among young, adult consumers was poor, and this moderated their socially responsible purchase behaviour. This implied that frequent CSR corporate communications can foster CSR centricity among young adult Malaysian consumers which benefits both the corporations and consumers.

Keywords: CSR centricity, attitude, corporate communications, subjective norm, perceived behavioural control

Pages: 56-77 | First Published: 1 March 2016

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SEARCH 8 (1) 2016


Perception toward the Construction of Women’s Body and Sexuality in the Video Clips of Indonesian Women Pop Singers
Fitria Akhmerti Primasita, * Susilorini & Karunia Purna Kusciati

Abstract:

Giving response to a new trend in Indonesian pop music video clips aired on Indonesian television music programs in 2011, we conducted an audience research that aimed at analyzing how young Indonesian women television viewers understood and read the construction of women’s body and sexuality in the music video clips as cultural texts in relation to their experiences of the world, taking in the basic assumptions of the polysemic nature of televisual texts and of active audience. The result shows that of the fifteen research participants, only four of them are unaware of the objectification and commodification of women’s bodies in the video clips and only two of them accept the objectification and commodification. Most of the participants are able to perceive that the women’s images in the video clips are constructed to attract consumers and encourage consumption, but they also perceive that it is done by exploiting women’s body and sexuality as object of male sexual desire, commodity, and spectacle. Living in a small town Surakarta, Indonesia, in which the dominant culture is the Javanese culture and religion (read: Islam) has increasingly gained importance, the participants’ perception is influenced by both cultural and religious factors. Being surrounded by things Western, especially American, their perception is also influenced by their understanding of the commercial aspect of popular culture products. Put in the context of globalization theorizing, thinking in the ‘we’ and ‘they’ binary, the participants detach themselves from the West and Western culture, and retain their identity as young Indonesian women who embrace the Eastern (read: Javanese) culture and are religious believers, underlining the idea that in the midst of cultural globalization considered as Westernization or Americanization in Indonesia, young Indonesian women can experience and express, without contradiction, their attachments to the nation, (multi)-ethnic allegiances and cosmopolitan sensibilities.

Keywords: audience research, women’s body and sexuality, young women television viewers, globalization

Pages: 78-104 | First Published: 1 March 2016

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SEARCH 8 (1) 2016


Examining Communication Satisfaction, Confucian Work Dynamism and Job Satisfaction: A Comparative Study of International and Domestic Hotels in Hainan, China
Wang Hua & * Bahiyah Omar

Abstract:

This study examines hotel employees’ communication satisfaction and job satisfaction levels in Hainan, China. The Communication Satisfaction Questionnaire (CSQ) and the Job Descriptive Index (JDI) were used in the investigation. This study also measures the Chinese working culture, Confucian work dynamism, and examines its relationship with hotel employees’ attitudes toward communication and job satisfaction. Using a survey and stratified sampling techniques, 40 sets of data were obtained from the staff working at four domestic and four international hotels operating in Hainan. Data were analysed using PLS analysis. The testing of measurement model shows that communication satisfaction measure for international hotel model was different from the measure for domestic hotel model. The results of structural model testing, on the other hand, show that both organisational communication satisfaction and Confucian work dynamism had significant effects on job satisfaction. Confucian work dynamism positively interacted with communication satisfaction in predicting job satisfaction, making it a significant moderator to the relationship between communication satisfaction and job satisfaction. All these relationships were found significant in both conditions; international and domestic hotels. The test of significant difference between the two models, however, yielded insignificant results. The findings suggest that effects of communication satisfaction and Confucian work dynamism on job satisfaction were almost equal at international and domestic hotels.

Keywords: organisational communication satisfaction; job satisfaction; Confucian work dynamism; international hotel; domestic hotel; Hainan

Pages: 105-127 | First Published: 1 March 2016

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