Karaoke Culture and the Evolution of Personality Politics
Chapter 11: Conclusion
As we examine, via our case study methodology, how the mass communication media has played itself out across the non-liberal states in Southeast Asia, a regional model of media development emerges. The media, in this model, exists in the close embrace of local elites who feel keenly the threat, perceived or real, of a technology that is growing in importance in information-sensitive, young states. The media, in other words, is an institution rooted in the creation of the modern post colonial state: the voice of nationalism, independence and development. The mass communication industry, in line with the argument about modernity outlined by Thompson (1995) and Giddens (1990, 1991), has become central to Southeast Asian society. In so doing, it has impacted and transformed political behaviour in Southeast Asia, and is an important resource of power and inﬂuence. Despite the ambiguity of the relationship between the media and democracy, the links between the increased ﬂow of information and entertainment products into Southeast Asia and pressures for change in the region are apparent. Southeast Asia’s major economies have not been able to escape these pressures, particularly those driven by external inﬂuence and dominated by Western values and ideas. Consideration, then, of whether or not the media, and the globalized media in particular, has a liberalizing eﬀect or becomes subject to elite control in Asia, and the role of the global media, particularly given its conglomerization and commoditization, is central to any discussion of political development in the region. This...
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