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Title: Race and nation in 21st century Malaysia : the production of racialised electoral politics in the Malaysian media
Authors: MacLeod, Alexander
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: This thesis explores the development of ethnoreligious narratives in the Malaysian media. It shows how, despite rapid structural changes in the twenty-first century, including the arrival of new media, the growth of a nascent civil society movement and the shift towards a two-party electoral system, the government, opposition and media continue to construct and reconstruct essentialist ethnoreligious narratives around and through political discourses and events. This process will be demonstrated through a media analysis of the three most recent general elections (2004, 2008 and 2013). Samples are taken from pro-government newspaper Utusan Malaysia and pro-opposition website Malaysiakini. While the former was founded in 1939, the latter was central to the growth of Malaysia’s new media landscape and can reveal how these forms of identity have operated in the new information age. The thesis will draw upon Fairclough’s model of Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA), an in-depth methodological approach covering textual, discursive and social practices in order to analyse the form and function of journalists’ language and the ways in which it constructs ethnoreligious identities. It will be shown that Malaysia’s general elections provide a crucible through which Malaysian identity is reconfigured and reshaped; a site where journalists and other writers creatively rework racial and national ideas. But it will also bring to light the fragmentation that underlies the application of these ethnoreligious narratives; a process that has resulted in the reproduction of divisive political discourses.
Description: PhD Theses
Appears in Collections:School of Geography, Politics and Sociology

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