Research hubs

Digital Southeast Asia

The ways in which digital technologies are changing all areas of social life -- the ways we work, live at home, move about in cities, practice religion, make friends, live as migrants, shop, access health services, are governed -- is constitutive of the fourth industrial revolution.

This research hub investigates the specific Southeast Asian manifestations of these transformations. SASS scholars collaborate with leading digital media scholars and research institutions in ASEAN to understand the implications digital technologies hold for the economic, social, and cultural development of societies in the region.

This research hub is cross-disciplinary, combining social science approaches -- which are sensitive to how historical, political, and cultural contexts shape human-technology relations -- with applied expertise from the fields of business, IT, engineering and medicine. And hub members also work with industry, non-profit and government bodies in areas such as health, gaming, and e commerce, to help shape sound, research-based policy in these areas.

Areas of research include, but are not limited to:-

  • online games and e-sports
  • digital health and wellbeing
  • digital ethnography
  • digital technologies and mobility
  • digital religion
  • e-commerce

Members

Associate Professor Emma Baulch

Professor Stephanie Hemelryk Donald

Dr Kyle Moore

Dr Dyah Pitaloka

Dr Young-Nam Seo

Dr Tan Meng Yoe

Dr Ting-Fai Yu

Dr Stefan Bachtold

Ms Kaflina Kamalul

Ms Chloe Yap

Migration and mobility in Asia

The migration and circulations of people, cultures, ideas, and capital in Asia is not something new. In historical as well as contemporary times, Asia has been at the centre of dynamic, complex, and overlapping flows of migration and mobilities, which are intertwined with the rapid economic and urban developments of the region.

On the one hand, technological and infrastructural developments have enabled and facilitated new types and patterns of permanent and temporary migration mobilities -- like student migration, lifestyle migration, retirement migration, health and medical tourism, investment migration, marriage migration, multinational migration, and transnational migration.

On the other hand, these technological and infrastructural developments, coupled with techniques of governing (e.g., border control, visa management) and the host country’s multifaceted priorities (e.g., ethno-nationalism, national ideology, sovereignty, national security, domestic politics, international relations), have posed new challenges for existing and potential migrants in crossing borders and acquiring residential status.

The increased opportunities and challenges for cross-border mobilities have fed the development of the migration industry -- an assemblage of formal and informal intermediaries that facilitate migration and assist in migration management, often for profit. While relatively privileged potential migrants can pay for services to quicken and smoothen their migration and mobility processes, relatively underprivileged potential migrants may be subject to human trafficking, debt bondage, exploitation, and other compromises to their human rights.

Planetary crises such as climate change, environmental degradation, and health pandemic are adding another key dimension to migration and mobilities. These crises present dilemmas to Asian countries that are heavily reliant on either immigrant populations (to provide labour, care and other needs) or emigrant populations (to contribute to economic productivity through remittances).

In sum, migration and mobilities in Asia are intertwined with and reflect rapid and profound transformations in Asian societies and beyond. These patterns of migration and mobilities are impacting and transforming notions of national identities, socio-cultural practices, transnational politics and solidarities, and future visions of modernity.

Areas of research include, but are not limited to:

  • interdisciplinary approaches to migration and mobilities in Asia
  • migration aspirations and migrants’ agencies
  • migration management and governance
  • migration industry
  • migration and planetary crises
  • migration and inequality
  • migration, mobility, and social change
  • migration, mobility, and the arts
  • migration, mobility, and gender

Members

Professor Stephanie Hemelryk Donald

Dr Koh Sin Yee

Associate Professor Yeoh Seng-Guan

Dr Ting-Fai Yu

Dr Dyah Pitaloka

Dr Lai Jia Yen

Ms Nadiah Ahmad

Ms Yvonne Khor

Ms Sharmini Nathan