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Blogging and political mobilization among minority Indians in Malaysia

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Item Summary

Title:Blogging and political mobilization among minority Indians in Malaysia
Authors:Rathina Pandi, Asha
Date Issued:May 2011
Publisher:[Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [May 2011]
Abstract:The objective of this research is to examine whether blogs can foster political mobilization among minority populations, using the minority Indians in Malaysia as the context. In particular, this research studies the characteristics of blogs from a non-Western perspective as a network structure, suitable for communication and coordination to organize collective action and political mobilization. Concepts: This study builds a theoretical framework showing the relationship between space for activism and collective actors in pursuit of political mobilization. Concepts relating to the public sphere, civil society, collective identity and resistance identity are explored. Methodology: Research was primarily qualitative and based on two case studies: i) the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) protest rally on November 25, 2007, and ii) the defeat of the Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) party in the 2008 Malaysian general elections. The analysis based on chronological narratives was multidimensional; data collected were from three broad sources, i) documentation and archival records from blogs, ii) individual and focus group interviews, and iii) direct observations. Analysis: The Hindraf rally occurred in the wake of the systematic political and cultural oppression of minority Indians, resulting in a resistance movement and culminating in the protest. The rally was instrumental in the defeat of the MIC in the 12th general election. Conclusion: The findings show that blogs can foster political mobilization among ethnic minority Indians in Malaysia. Key themes that emerged from examining the case studies in the context of minority politics in Malaysia are the importance of i) context, ii) collective identity, iii) links between traditional and new media, iv) access to the Internet, v) politics of credibility and identification, and vi) politics of representation. Contributions: This research is the first to examine the relationship between blogs, minority population and political mobilization in Malaysia. It also discusses contributions towards conceptual and methodological frameworks for research.
Description:Ph.D. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2011.
Includes bibliographical references.
Appears in Collections: Ph.D. - Sociology

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