Dr Julian Hopkins

Senior Lecturer in Communication

Email: julian.hopkins@monash.edu
Telephone No: +603 5514 4920
Fax No: +603 5514 6365
Room No: 2-6-16 Blog: http://julianhopkins.net Twitter: @julianhopkins


PhD (Arts) (Monash University)
MA Social Anthropology of Development (SOAS, University of London)
MA (Hons) Social Science (University of Glasgow)
CELTA (Cambridge Certificate for English Language Teaching to Adults)
GCHE (Graduate Certificate in Higher Education)


I was awarded a PhD from Monash University in 2012, for anthropological research into the monetisation of personal blogging in Malaysia. Since then, I have continued research in the field of social media, and have most recently completed a survey on the everyday uses of social media in Malaysia. My earlier degrees were in both sociology and anthropology, and my methodological approach focuses on inductive theory generation by combining the quantitative and qualitative traditions.

I have published in the Asian Journal of Communication, co-edited a volume of original research in Malaysia, contributed two chapters to edited volumes, and published conference papers. I am currently working on a book project for Berghahn Books.

I have been teaching since 2002. Early on, I taught a range of liberal arts classes, before moving to the communication specialisation. More recently, I have combined my research interest with teaching by developing undergraduate and postgraduate classes that focus on digital media in local and global contexts.

Research Interests

Anthropology, internet, social media, digital literacy, and commercialisation.

Current Focus

My current research interests focus on the area of digital and mobile media, more specifically social media literacy, the role of social media in everyday life, and the relevance of the commercialisation of shared online spaces. Through this, I hope to find ways to demonstrate the importance of understanding the commercial basis of social media, and how it intersects with sociocultural dynamics, interpersonal interaction and self-identity. These themes have strong connections with media convergence, a central theoretical and practical concept that encompasses much of what is happening in the media world following the widespread digitalisation of media content.

Journal Articles

Edited Book

  • Hopkins J. & Lee J. (2012). Thinking Through Malaysia: culture and identity in the 21st century. SIRD, Petaling Jaya. This book was nominated for the Popular-The Star Readers' Choice Awards (2013)

Book Chapters

  • Hopkins J. (2016). The Concept of Affordances in Digital Studies. In Friese H., Rebane G., Nolden M. and Schreiter, M. (Eds), ‘ Handbuch Soziale Praktiken und Digitale Alltagswelten’. Springer Fachmedien, Wiesbaden, pp1-8. (Available online: https://link.springer.com/referenceworkentry/10.1007/978-3-658-08460-8_67-1)
  • Hopkins J. (2016). The Emergence of the Lifestyle Blog Genre. In Friese H., Rebane G., Nolden M. and Schreiter, M. (Eds), ‘Handbuch Soziale Praktiken und Digitale Alltagswelten’ .  Springer Fachmedien, Wiesbaden, pp1-8. (Available online: https://link.springer.com/referenceworkentry/10.1007/978-3-658-08460-8_68-1)
  • Hopkins, J. (2012). “From All-Blogs to Blog House Malaysia: SoPo  Blogging, Journalism and Politics in Malaysia”. In J. Hopkins & J. Lee (Eds), Thinking Through Malaysia: culture and identity in the 21st century . SIRD, Petaling Jaya.
  • Hopkins, J., & Thomas, N. (2011). “Fielding Networked Marketing: Technology and Authenticity in the Monetization of Malaysian Blogs.” In D. Araya, Y. Breindl, & T. J. Houghton (Eds.), Nexus: New Intersections in Internet Research. New York: Peter Lang Publishing.

Conference Proceedings

  • Hopkins J. (2014). Click fraud: advertising and the territorialisation of personal blogs. In Selected Papers of Internet Research 15: The 15th Annual Meeting of the Association of Internet Researchers. Daegu, Republic of Korea. (Available online: https://spir.aoir.org/index.php/spir/article/view/950, accessed 6 November 2013).
  • Hopkins, J. (2013). “Assembling affordances: towards a theory of relational affordances”. Selected Papers of Internet Research 14: The 14th Annual Meeting of the Association of Internet Researchers. Denver, USA (available on-line: http://spir.aoir.org/index.php/spir/article/view/783, accessed 6 November 2013). (Peer reviewed)
  • Hopkins, J. (2012). “Cyberwar and social media: Barisan Nasional’s online presence”. Presented at The 8th International Malaysian Studies Conference (MSC8), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Bangi, Malaysia.

Current Projects

  • Book project: Lifestyle blogging: monetisation, assemblage and affordances in new media. Under contract with Berghahn Books. Under review, expected publication 2018
  • Research Project: Snapchat Use Among Malaysian Undergraduates in Public and Private Universities. Funded by the GA21 Platform, Monash University Malaysia. Collaboration with Universiti Malaya.
  • Research project: Microcelebrity and Parenthood in Malaysia and Singapore. Funded by the School of Arts & Social Sciences, Monash University Malaysia.
  • Research project: Everyday Uses of Social and Mobile Media. Funded by Social & Economic Transformations in Asia, Monash University Malaysia.

Book Review


  • Hopkins, J. (2017). Exploring Mobile And Algorithmic Socialities: WhatsApp And Facebook In Everyday Malaysia. ICAS10, 20-23 July 2017, Chiang Mai, Thailand
  • Hopkins, J. (2016). OMG so cuute!’: Microcelebrity and Parenthood in Malaysia. Celebrity Studies Journal Conference, University of Amsterdam
  • Hopkins, J. (2016). Exploring Digital Socialities. Preliminary Results on Uses of Social and Mobile Media in Personal and Social Relations in Malaysia. Digital Ethnography Research Centre, RMIT Melbourne
  • Hopkins, J., (2015). “Algorithmic socialities: Preliminary Results on Uses of Social Media in Personal and Social Relations in Malaysia.” Internet in Southeast Asia. Power and Society. Monash University Malaysia.
  • Hopkins, J. (2015). “Assembling blog affordances: theorising affordances and agency in new media.” Media Anthropology Network e-seminar.
  • Hopkins, J. (2013). “Cybertroopers & tea parties: government use of the Internet in Malaysia”. Presented at the Media & Journalism Seminar, Universiti Utara Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
  • Hopkins, J. (2013). “The myth of ‘Real Life’”. Presented at the SCCA Research Colloquium, KDU University College. Petaling Jaya, Malaysia. (By Invitation)
  • Hopkins, J. (2011). “‘Responsible blogging’: social-political blogging and blogging associations in Malaysia.” Presented at the International Young Scholars’ Conference 2011, Monash University Sunway Campus, Bandar Sunway, Malaysia.
  • Hopkins, J. (2011). “Labouring lifestyle: assembling the lifestyle blog.” Presented at the 6th Singapore Graduate Forum on Southeast Asia studies. Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore, Singapore.
  • Hopkins, J. (2010). “The Malaysian lifestyle blog: a national blogging genre?” Presented at the Internet Colloquium: WCU Webometrics Institute at Yeungnam University, Gyeongsan, Republic of Korea. (By invitation)
  • Hopkins, J. (2009). “Blogging field notes: participatory innovation or methodological dead end?” Presented at the Australian and New Zealand Communication Association Conference 2009, QUT, Brisbane.
  • Hopkins, J. (2008). “Blogwars - authenticity and value in the blogosphere.” Presented at the MSC6 - Engaging Malaysian Modernity 50 Years and Beyond, Kuching, Malaysia.

Non-academic Publications

Press Appearances

  • 2016. Global Asia in the 21st Century, Monash University Malaysia – Large Grant. Snapchat Use Among Malaysian Undergraduates in Public and Private Universities. Value: RM20,000
  • 2016. School of Arts & Social Sciences – Seed Grant. Microcelebrity and Parenthood in Malaysia and Singapore. Value: RM10,000
  • 2016. Outside Studies Program Leave and Support. Six months sabbatical program with funding for travel and accommodation. Value: RM 7,500
  • 2015. School of Arts & Social Sciences – Seed Grant. Everyday Uses of Social and Mobile Media. Value: RM 3,250
  • 2014. Social & Economic Transformation in Asia, Monash University Malaysia – Seed Grant. Everyday Uses of Social and Mobile Media. Value: RM 7,000
  • Higher Degree by Research Scholarship (2007-2011), awarded by Monash University, Sunway campus. Full tuition and stipend.
Media Coverage

Social media consulting, Health Equity Initiatives (Oct-Nov 2011, March 2016)

  • Consulted with regard to a new initiative designed to improve an outreach program through using Facebook
  • Consulted for a social media campaign for a Malaysian NGO focusing on community health amongst refugees.
  • 2015: Commendation Award for Excellence in Education (Early Career Category)