Current research students

Research Degree Students

Master of Arts (MA)

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PhD Arts

Kaflina Binti Kamalul  Ariffin
Thesis title:
An exploration on the usage of mobile technology for older adults in fostering community bonding
Abstract:
This research explores the utilisation of mobile application service for the Malay older adults in Klang Valley towards  community bonding. It attempts to study their motivations, communication patterns and how communication technologies help to foster bonds in the absence of physical community activities such as the recent Covid-19 lockdown.  The tentative framework will integrate analytical frameworks on friendship, kinship bonding and  textual  communications.  The data collection will involve collection of WhatsApp texts from participants (upon ethics clearance) and focus group interviews.  This study is hoped to provide an insight on  the  communication framework  and social cultural change in the digitisation for the older adults  in Malaysia .
Supervisors: Associate Prof Dr. Emma Baulch (main supervisor) & Dr. Susan Leong (Associate Supervisor)

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Krisha Raveendran Vishinpir
Thesis Title:
Crossing Boundaries:  A Negotiation of Islam by Refugee Women in Malaysia.
Abstract:
Recognising that a gendered perspective in migration/refugee studies is lacking within a Malaysian context, I intend to look into how Islamic conservatism is challenged by refugee women who arrive in Malaysia.
Supervisors: Associate Professor Sharon A Bong (main supervisor) and Dr Koh Sin Yee (associate supervisor)

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Hamza Delbar
Thesis Title:
Mauritius as a Developmental State
Abstract:
For this project, I intend to look at the Mauritian developmental case in order to understand how the small island developing state was able to leave behind the vast majority of African nations in the postcolonial era in terms of socio economics development paying particular attention to the literature on ‘developmental states’.
Supervisors: Dr. Joel D. Moore (main supervisor) & Professor Helen Nesadurai (associate supervisor)

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Cheah Wui Jia
Thesis Title:
(Un)broken faith - Doubt and Departure in the Fundamentalist Church of Malaysia
Abstract:
My research explore how doubt/trauma shape one’s sense of identity as an Evangelical Christian who stays or leaves the church. I look at how the Christian ‘stayer’ makes sense of doubt/trauma in light of their belief. I also examine how ‘leavers’ perceive their exiting journey and their previous believing selves.
Supervisors: Assoc. Prof Sharon A Bong (main supervisor) & Assoc Prof Yeoh Seng Guan (associate supervisor)

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Arath Nirmala Prabhakar
Thesis Title:
Movements, Moorings and Power: Differential Mobilities of Migrant Female Workers in Malaysia and Identity Construction
Abstract:
My research explores the differential mobilities of migrant female workers in Malaysia, to identify the organisation of power in society that influence these mobilities and identity construction, analysed via an intersectionality lens. Aspects of the mobilities paradigm underpin this study, particularly the recognition of movements and moorings within these mobility forms.
Supervisors: Assoc. Prof Yeoh Seng Guan (main supervisior) and Dr Koh Sin Yee (associate supervisor)

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Vizla Kumaresan
Thesis Title:
Trans Men in Malaysia: Examining the psychological and decision making processes in becoming men
Abstract:
In this research, I will examine the processes by which trans men (who are socialised as girls/women/to be feminine as they are assigned female at birth) make decisions about which aspects of masculinity they want to portray. It will examine trans men's narratives to understand the decision making processes they utilise in becoming men. The research will assess the factors that determine how they weigh the different aspects of masculine identity and how this influences their portrayal of masculinity.
Supervisors: Assoc. Prof Sharon A. Bong (main supervisor) & Assoc. Prof Muhammad Kamruzzaman Mozumder (external)

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Tengku Zahaslan Bin Tuan Hashim
Thesis Title:
Intersection of Diplomacy and the Intellectual Property Rights in Malaysia
Abstract:
This research explores the significance of intellectual property rights in modern day diplomacy of developing countries by studying the Malaysian case. It attempts to identify the trends in using intellectual property as a diplomacy tool, and understand how developing countries like Malaysia engages in negotiations involving international intellectual property matters.
Supervisors: Dr. Joel D. Moore (main supervisor) & Professor Helen Nesadurai (associate supervisor)

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Mehvar Khan
Thesis Title:
Media and Political Attitudes in Malaysia: Fake news and its impact on the political opinions and attitudes of Malaysians
Abstract:
This research will plot a version of the model developed by Miller et.al. (2016) that will be customised for the Malaysian context. The original model looked at the interaction of individual's political ideology, knowledge and trust about politics as a predictor of conspiracy endorsement. Therefore, for this research my goal will be to develop measures of these variables that are relevant to the Malaysian context, to inductively find other unconsidered factors that may potentially be relevant in this context and to conduct a pilot test of modified model in Malaysia.
Supervisors: Dr. Joel D. Moore (main supervisor) &  Dr. Tan Meng Yoe (associate supervisor)

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Matthew Yap Tuck Mun
Thesis Title:
The Reality of TV: Identity, Authenticity and Personal Power within Reality TV based Science-Fiction
Abstract:  
This research will centre on Science Fiction texts that feature Reality Television programs – The Hunger Games are a prime example. I will be investigating how Science Fiction uses the mechanics of Reality TV to explore notions of identity formation, power relations between media producers, participants and viewers, as well as whether one can ever recover any semblance of authenticity in a sea of televised hyper-reality that saturates our screens. I am using Science Fiction because the genre holds a dark mirror up to society, and can be both informative and prophetic in its vision of our Reality TV obsessed world.
Supervisors: Assoc. Prof Andrew Ng Hock Soon (main supervisor) and Dr Jonathan Driskell (associate supervisor)

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Roy Chua Kwee Cheng
Thesis Title: 
The loss of capital in school consolidation
Abstract: 
My research will be a descriptive account of Singapore schools through sociological analysis. I will investigate the phenomenon of school mergers (or consolidation) through the narratives of Bourdieusian "players" in the "field" of education.  The thesis aims to be a prescriptive account to pause and reconsider the value of schools in urban policy planning.
Supervisors: Dr Yeoh Seng Guan (main supervisor) and Dr Tan Meng Yoe (associate supervisor)

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Satish Ranggayah
Thesis title:
Implications of the rohingya human trafficking issue to Malaysia's national security
Abstract:
Malaysian Muslim Malays are politically dominant and the majority; any status-quo change is viewed as national security threat. The Rohingya influx is a perceived threat to that status-quo. Hence, formulation of domestic and foreign policies on the Rohingya treatment must accommodate contradictory demands of the Malay stand and as a Muslim country.
Supervisors: Assoc. Prof Marco Buente (main supervisor) and Professor Helen Nesadurai (associate supervisor)

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Adrian Yao Yong Tat
Thesis title:
Heutagogical learning of Malay as a foreign language in a flipped learning approach
Abstract: 
This study intends to explore heutagogical learning in learning of Malay as a foreign language by international students through the design, development and evaluation of instructional vodcasts in learning and its effectiveness of learning in a flipped learning environment.
Supervisors: Dr Joel D.Moore (main supervisor), Dr Melissa Wong (associate supervisor) and Dr Neethiahnanthan Ari Ragavan (external)

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Paola Reale
Thesis Title: 
Youth employment in Southeast Asian fisheries, aquaculture and sustainable food systems: Myanmar and Malaysia case studies
Abstract:
The size of today's youth generation and rising levels of youth unemployment make it imperative for policy makers and development actors to address the problems and challenges faced by young people in creating viable livelihoods. Involvement in food systems, including fisheries and aquaculture value chains, is not the first choice of livelihood for most youth, and an in-depth understanding of how youth participate in these sectors is shadowed by limited studies and literature on the topic.
Supervisors: Dr Koh Sin Yee (main supervisor) and Prof Kyoko Kusakabe (external)

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Gwendolyn Bellinger
Thesis Title:
A Ghostly Inheritance: The Cultural Legacy of Specters in Postcolonial Literature
Abstract: 
This project examines the use of specters in postcolonial works from four distinct cultures — Beloved (Toni Morrison), God of Small Things (Arundhati Roy), Season of Migration to the North (al-Tayeb Salih), and The Ghost Bride (Yangsze Choo). It aims to explore how the specific cultural traditions of each region uniquely shape the ghost narratives included within each novel and how these unique traditions in turn shape how the author employed each specter as a device for subversion and healing. Ultimately, this research will examine the role of the specter in postcolonial literature as a vehicle for exploring the relationships between collective memory, trauma, cultural inheritance, and social identity. 
Supervisors:  Assoc. Prof Andrew Ng Hock Soon (main Supervisor) and  Dr Chrishandra Sebastiampillai (associate supervisor)

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Dobby Chew
Thesis Title:
Cross-border cultural influences on the Death Penalty among Mandarin-speaking Communities
Abstract: 
This research aims to explore the potential impact and change of perceptions on the death penalty created by popular media, historical or cultural icons in Mandarin-speaking or ethnic Chinese communities in the Asia-Pacific. It will also explore the cross-border influence of narratives in favour of the death penalty within the region.
Supervisors: Assoc. Prof Yeoh Seng Guan (main Supervisor) and Assoc. Prof Mai Sato (external)

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Theresa Symons
Thesis Title:
Going beyond spiritual, ecological and social divides: Tracking relational system change in moving from a needs-based to rights-based approach for the Good Shepherd sisters in Asia
Abstract: 
Change is inevitable. Outward change must be preceded by the internal transition of individual and collective levels of consciousness. This research seeks to explore change. It shall look at the application of contemporary systemic interventions to a faith based organisation in its efforts to move from a charity and needs based approach to a rights based approach in addressing social injustice. It uncovers the blind spots and blocks that cause a faith based organisation to remain stationary in its old ways, focusing on critical elements in sensing and seeing the reality of its own situation. The research then identifies the emerging features that will hold the organisation’s system together as it shifts through the spiritual, ecological and social divides in its journey of transformation and shift in consciousness. It is hoped that the research process will reveal how the awareness based collective action play out in a system that is multi-layered – with core beliefs rooted in a spiritual tradition whilst striving to be relevant in the ecological and social context of today.
Supervisors:  Assoc. Prof Sharon Bong (main Supervisor) and Dr Thaatchaatini Kananatu (external)

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Aiman Anuar
Thesis Title:
Making Sense of Veganism: How Malaysians Are Motivated to Adopt Vegan Ideologies via Media Consumption
Abstract:
Despite its Western origins and somewhat "radical" connotations, the vegan movement has seen steady and significant growth in Malaysia. However, there is limited academic study that delves into this local phenomenon. How can an unquestionably foreign lifestyle be so readily adopted by a growing number of Malaysians? Why is the proliferation of the vegan movement so rapid? And why is this growth only evident in recent years? Western-centric scholarship has found a symbiotic link between the adoption of veganism and the increase of positive vegan media content. However, can this also be applied in a Malaysian setting? This
research project aims to examine the adoption of vegan ideologies by Malaysians through a media consumption lens via qualitative and quantitative research methods.
Supervisors: Dr Tan Meng Yoe (Main Supervisor) and Assoc. Prof Yeoh Meng Yoe (associate supervisor)

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Chloe Yap
Thesis Title:
Queer Sinophonicities Online: Exploring Queer Chinese Malaysians’ Internet-mediated Negotiations of Identity
Abstract:
This thesis examines the online practices of young queer Chinese Malaysians in the early- to mid-2000s, a time that marked a notable increase in internet penetration and absorption across Malaysia. In what ways did newly-gained access to the internet, particularly during a crucial period of identity development and exploration, facilitate the negotiation of complex tensions between ethnic, national, and sexual identities? How did these early online practices subsequently influence their social, cultural, and political choices from then until now? Through interviews and textual analysis, this project looks at narratives of queer Chinese Malaysians and aims to contribute towards the fields of queer digital media and Sinophone studies.
Supervisors: Assoc. Prof Emma Baulch (main supervisor) and Dr Ting Fai-Yu (associate supervisor)

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Aidonna Jan Ayub
Thesis Title:
The Role of International Governance in Addressing State- owned Multinational Enterprises (SO-MNEs): An International Trade and Investment Perspective
Abstract:
The primary objective of this research is to fill the gap in understanding the international governance of state-owned multinational enterprises (SO-MNEs). SO-MNEs have grown in prominence in recent years, particularly from an international trade and investment perspective. Thus, this study aims to look at the need to regulate SO-MNEs; and study whether existing international governance of SO-MNEs address this need. Anchored on international economic law, this research aims to take a multidisciplinary approach to achieving the research objectives. This research seeks to bring to light a better understanding of the perspective of developing countries with SO-MNEs, that have actively participated in creating international rules on SO-MNEs (such as Malaysia). This research is important to both developing and developed countries that have trade and investment linkages with SO-MNEs. Therefore, this research is current, innovative, and would be useful to policymakers, academicians and legal experts seeking to understand, propose, and manage the international governance of SO-MNEs.
Supervisors: Prof Helen Nesadurai (main supervisor) and Prof Andrew Mitchell (external)

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Tham Jia Vern
Thesis Title:
Keeping the Noose on Drugs: A Critical Examination of Retaining the Death Penalty for Drug Offences in Malaysia
Abstract:
My research investigates the deterrent argument used to justify the retention of the death penalty for drug offences in Malaysia. It will examine the deterrence literature and its role in shaping Malaysia’s political rhetoric as well as public attitudes towards drug activities. It will also assess the true effectiveness of the death penalty on Malaysia’s drug market activities as well as influencing the behavior of drug offenders in the country.
Supervisors: Assoc Prof Mai Sato (main supervisor), Dr Thaatchaatini Kananatu (associate supervisor and Dr Marek Rutkowski (associate supervisor)