New Media and the Nation in Malaysia
By Susan Leong
To Be Published October 4th 2013 by Routledge – 176 pages
In the four decades or so since its invention, the internet has become pivotal to how many societies function, influencing how individual citizens interact with and respond to their governments. Within Southeast Asia, while most governments subscribe to the belief that new media technological advancement improves their nation’s socio-economic conditions, they also worry about its cultural and political effects. This book examines how this set of dynamics operates through its study of new media in contemporary Malaysian society.
Using the social imaginary framework and adopting a socio-historical approach, the book explains the varied understandings of new media as a continuing process wherein individuals and their societies operate in tandem to create, negotiate and enact the meaning ascribed to concepts and ideas. In doing so, it also highlights the importance of non-users to national technological policies.
Through its examination of the ideation and development of Malaysia’s Multimedia Super Corridor mega project to-date and reference to the seminal socio-political events of 2007-2012 including the 2008 General Elections, Bersih and Hindraf rallies, this book provides a clear explanation for new media’s prominence in the multi-ethnic and majority Islamic society of Malaysia today. It is of interest to academics working in the field of Media and Internet Studies and Southeast Asian Politics.
Introduction: Of nations, technologies and non-users 1. Social imaginaries 2. The nation, race and religion 3. Nation and Internet 4. Malaysia and new media: the Multimedia Super Corridor 5. Users and non-users in the Malaysian social imaginary 6. The Internet and Malaysia: new configurations? 7. Conclusion
Susan Leong is an Early Career Research Fellow at Curtin University, Australia. Her research focuses on the implications of new media for nations, and her latest project examines the effects of new media for the relationship between diaspora, home and receiving nations.