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Abstract

Gig Economy platforms have become enmeshed in the fabric of urban sociality. While they have substantially disrupted conditions of labouring, participating in the platform economy has also changed social and moral norms globally. Importantly, what constitutes normative moral and prosocial interpersonal behaviour is key to making platforms function as social environments, but these norms are also constantly challenged and rearticulated through everyday practice among different stakeholders. By drawing on long-term fieldwork across gig economy platforms in urban India, we offer a typology of dynamic social and moral norms around tipping, gratitude, politeness and more that sustain platform interactions. The paper’s aim is to re-centre the vitality and dynamism of everyday media practice, social relationships, and cultural values in shaping platforms. Relatedly, moving beyond binaries of exploitation/empowerment, we show how negotiations between agents with differential power contribute to shifts in platform culture that cannot be fully explained through notions of intentionality.

Open Access
In: Asiascape: Digital Asia

Abstract

This study compares the expression of opinion in incongruent offline and online settings regarding the issue of gender desegregation in Kuwait’s public schools. Spiral of silence theory provides the theoretical foundation for examining the impact of certain cultural factors and religious influences on the expression of opinion, their relationship to the fundamental tenets of the theory, such as fear of social isolation, and Twitter use variables among respondents to a survey. The results to a questionnaire administered to 534 public and private university students indicate greater overall expression of opinion in the offline than online context. Offline and online, the nonconformist personality variable was a positive predictor of expression of opinion, and fear of social isolation was a negative predictor. The perceived position of Islam on the issue was a predictor of expression of opinion only in the offline context. Finally, daily average use of Twitter was an additional predictor of expression of opinion in the online environment.

Open Access
In: Asiascape: Digital Asia
Author:

Abstract

This article examines how digital spaces for political participation by migrants are experienced and governed in South Korea. Drawing on semi-structured interviews conducted in Seoul, South Korea, between April and July 2018, this article argues that migrant participation in digital democratic processes in South Korea is hindered by a fragmented and centralized digital management, which can be linked back to the specific historical-political context in which this digital space was developed.

Open Access
In: Asiascape: Digital Asia
Authors: and

Abstract

Based on a case study of the lived experiences of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh between 2017 and 2019, this article focuses on displaced people’s digital needs and innovative efforts to navigate the challenges in their situation. The article first discusses the major barriers faced by Rohingya refugees in using various digital devices and platforms and how these obstacles adversely affect them in obtaining necessary information and humanitarian services. Our findings from the field highlight the uniquely important role that mobile repair shops in the camps play in providing online-offline hybrid solutions to circumvent restrictions imposed on the refugee community by the host government. The findings also show that different types of community leaders have emerged and that Rohingya women use digital means to push back against double discrimination. The article concludes with policy considerations related to the geopolitically transcendent issues of displacement, democracy, and digital rights.

Open Access
In: Asiascape: Digital Asia
Author:

Abstract

2018 was a politically tempestuous time for South Korea as a little over 500, mostly male, Yemeni asylum-seekers landed on Korea’s Jeju Island. Their unexpected arrival caught Korean society, already in the midst of its own #MeToo wave off guard, resulting in a wave of pro- and anti-refugee demonstrations across the country. Fueled by real and fake news about refugee illegal activities in Europe, anti-refugee backlash in Korea took an Islamophobic and feminist tone. Based on digital ethnography, this article presents observations from online voices – refugees, feminists, and media actors – expressed through Naver News and Naver Cafes to assess the ways in which Korea’s refugee crisis was represented in local and global anti-refugee and Islamophobic narratives, aimed in particular at Muslim men. This research highlights the impact of European narratives on Korean society and raises questions over how Korean society can create a wider, inclusive digital democracy.

Open Access
In: Asiascape: Digital Asia
Author:

Abstract

Social media have become part of the private and public lifestyles of youth globally. Drawing on both online and offline research in Indonesia, this article focuses on the use of Instagram by Indonesian Muslim youth. It analyzes how religious messages uploaded on Instagram through posts and captions have a significant effect on the way in which Indonesian Muslim youth understand their religion and accentuate their (pious) identities and life goals. This article argues that Instagram has recently become the ultimate platform for Indonesian female Muslim youth to educate each other in becoming virtuous Muslims. The creativity and zeal of the creators of Instagram daʿwa (proselytization), and their firm belief that ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’, has positioned them as social media influencers, which in turn has enabled them to conduct both soft daʿwa and lucrative daʿwa through business.

Open Access
In: Asiascape: Digital Asia

Abstract

This article introduces the special issue ‘Online Publics in Muslim Southeast Asia: In Between Religious Politics and Popular Pious Practices’ by discussing prominent approaches in the study of media and the public sphere in light of the specific history of digital media’s rise in Muslim Southeast Asia. It focuses on earlier and current expressions of mobile and Islamic modernity as well as on changing moralities and forms of Islamic authority. Referencing the other contributions to this special issue, it particularly emphasizes the (discursive and visual) contestations and social dramas that take place in the region’s media spaces providing for a variety of Islamic forms, practices, and socialities that can best be grasped, the authors argue, by considering politics, the pious, and the popular not as separate, but as mutually constitutive domains.

Open Access
In: Asiascape: Digital Asia
Economic Discourse and Development from 1953 to the Present
In From Accelerated Accumulation to Socialist Market Economy in China, Kjeld Erik Brødsgaard and Koen Rutten examine China’s indigenous economic discourse and its relation to both economic policy-making and the overall trajectory of development from the First Five Year Plan in 1953 to 2016. In so doing, this volume demonstrates that although the form of the current economic system and its theoretical underpinnings bear scant resemblance to those of the planned economy, economic policy-making still relies on the principle of accelerated accumulation, which lay at the heart of the economic development project in the early years of the People’s Republic.
In: From Accelerated Accumulation to Socialist Market Economy in China
In: From Accelerated Accumulation to Socialist Market Economy in China