School of Arts and Social Sciences - Page 18

ARTS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES

Communication , media and policy

This cluster explores the relationship between the media , the state and society from various perspectives including online religion , sport , higher education and learning , popular culture , social media and new media .
Digital media connects people in online cultures and spaces in ways that transcend the limitations of place and time . As these spaces grow , society has evolved and adapted to these new frontiers of communication and consumption .
These changes affect the ways we engage with each other and the world , the state and multinational corporate policies regarding media and communications , and the new online communities that we build . Users are now valuable content creators , altering the traditional relationship between producers and consumers and forming one of the ways in which online identity is constructed . Questions of regulation , civil freedoms regarding the media , access , transparency and accountability of the media , patterns of consumption , audience and user engagement , new and traditional media and their technologies , are central to this cluster ’ s interests .
My research sits at the intersection of media and cultural studies and looks broadly at popular music as a site of identity formation in Indonesia . I ’ m specifically interested in how changes to technologies involved in the making and distribution of music precipitate cultural change . My doctoral work studied the role electric guitars played in shaping communities of amateur musicians in Bali in the late-1990s , and my current work examines how television and digital technologies influence the formation of pop music genres .”
ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR EMMA BAULCH

Culture , religion and gender

This cluster focuses on communities and groups in society , particularly in terms of culture and identity .
Research in this field explores how people negotiate their identities and come up against larger socio-political forces such as the policies and organisations that govern cities , religious institutions and traditions , civil society groups , and concepts such as gender , sexuality , ethnicity , class and social inequality , sexual health , reproductive rights , and human rights .
Researchers interrogate how and whether communities and groups are able to exercise these rights and fully live out their identities in society . Political and societal factors come into conflict with the daily realities of certain communities and subsequently shape the social spaces they inhabit . Questions that concern this cluster include national and international policies that govern identity , the state and its relationship with other actors ( such as religious institutions and civil society ) that extends or seeks to limit their ability to shape identity and social spaces , and the narratives of diverse and marginalised communities .
My research dwells on the intersections between urban spaces , religion , and civil society initiatives in various places in Malaysia , Indonesia and the Philippines . I also make ethnographic documentaries arising from these research activities . I am interested in examining the social and cultural complexities that are generated , managed and appropriated between differently positioned social actors as a consequence of these varied human encounters .
Past research subjects have included state and corporate agencies vis-à-vis urban settlers , street vendors , migrant workers , pilgrims , the homeless , and environmental groups . Currently , I ’ m part of a global hub exploring how South-South migration is affecting inequality and development in less developed countries . I anchor the Nepal-Malaysian Corridor , one of six Corridors being researched .”
ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR YEOH SENG GUAN
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