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chapterposted on 2023-05-22, 20:28 authored by Loh, BYH, James ChinJames Chin
The Malaysian media space is dominated by the mainstream view of a stable and hegemonic Malaysian society - a plural society that mainly supports and reinforces a status quo based on ethnicity, religion and urban lifestyles, while pushing diversity to the periphery. Much new media content often engages with those from the mainstream audience, or at least those who conform to its perceptions, while those who do not are left behind. Despite social media being perceived as affording greater access to media spaces outside the control of traditional gatekeepers, the Malaysian mainstream has proxied and reinforced the same socio-political structures in these online spaces. Nevertheless, social media indeed allows the disenfranchised, disempowered and detached a means of finding their own voices and eking out their own spaces within the broader Malaysian online ecology. Exclusion does not mean nonexistence, but rather a parallel one. These microcosmic communities make use of new media to reclaim their agency and voices - however, these platforms can paradoxically assist and hinder maligned minorities, ignored ethnicities or oft-attacked migrants in their day-to-day lives. The following chapters highlight the “Other” and represent minority viewpoints to challenge the belief that Malaysia’s online space is monolithic and limited to mainstream discourses.
Publication titleNew Media in the Margins: Lived Realities and Experiences from the Malaysian Peripheries
EditorsBYH Loh and J Chin
Department/SchoolSchool of Social Sciences
Place of publicationSingapore