Urbanization and its Implication on the Malay Women’s Social Interaction

By Siti Zobidah Omar, Normaliza Abd Rahim, Zaitul Azma Zainon Hamzah and Amini Amir Abdullah.

Published by The Humanities Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Over the past decades, Malaysia has seen a tremendous social and economic development. One of the developments is through the process of urbanization. With the implementation of the Malaysian New Economic Policy (NEP) from 1970 onwards, which specifically encouraged the involvement of the Bumiputeras, who are largely rural based, in the industrial and commercial sector of the economy, has a profound effect of the rate of urbanization in Malaysia. Rural areas are being developed and transformed to a new urban area. This process of transformation has an effect on the social interaction on the community in the area particularly the women. The aim of this paper is to examine the pattern of social interaction particularly on the Malay women’s communication in Malaysia, due to the process of development and urbanization in their area. Further, it is also intended to look at the women’s view on the meaning of urbanization, its implication towards their pattern of communication and their experience of having the telephone at home. This research employs a qualitative method by using an in-depth interview of fifteen Malay women, who live in the area that has undergone and experienced the process of urbanization. The selection of the informant was through snowballing. The research revealed that due to the rapid development, there is a changing pattern in the women’s social interaction particularly their communication. This communication changing pattern has led the women to change their way of communication that is by using Information Communication Technology (ICT) particularly the telephone to replace their daily face-to-face communication. The research also revealed the women’s story of their first experience of having the telephone at home and how they communicate with others. The research conclude that the meaning of urbanization to the women is apart from enables them to communicate easily via new technology, it is also seen as trying to separate the women among themselves physically, living them to communicate in isolation.

Keywords: Communication, Communication Technology, Social Interaction, Gender, Urbanization

International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 6, Issue 7, pp.113-124. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 571.014KB).

Assoc. Prof. Siti Zobidah Omar

Head of Department, Lecturer, Communication Department, Faculty of Modern Languages and Communication, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia

Siti Zobidah Omar is a lecturer in the Department of Communication, Faculty of Modern Languages and Communication, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Malaysia. She is also the head of Department of Communication. She earned her first degree in Mass Communication (Journalism) from the University Teknologi Mara (UiTM), her Master of Arts Degree in Communication Technology and Policy from Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia and her Ph.D in Communication Technology and Culture from The University of Birmingham, United Kingdom. Her research interest is on communication technology, culture and gender particularly the use of the telephone and culture. Currently she is involved in a research on the use of ICT and family communication.

Dr. Normaliza Abd Rahim

Lecturer, Department of Malay Language, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia

Dr. Normaliza Abd Rahim is currently the coordinator for the Translation and Intepretation and Language Technology Lecturer at Universiti Putra Malaysia. Due to her keen interest in language technology in teaching and learning, and her wide experience in teaching the English language courses, she was appointed as the consultant for curriculum development for private universities and colleges in one of the states in Malaysia. As such, she provides assistance in developing activities to enhance the usage of English language by using the computer amongst the students in the university. She is also interested on special educational needs children where at present she is the consultant for one of the states in Malaysia. She involves voluntarily in giving advice to parents and teachers of the special needs.

Dr. Zaitul Azma Zainon Hamzah

Lecturer, Department of Malay Language, Faculty of Modern Languages and Communication, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia

Zaitul Azma Zainon Hamzah is a lecturer at the Malay Language Department, Faculty of Modern Languages and Communication, University Putra Malaysia (UPM). She holds a Certificate of Education in Teaching Young Children, Bachelor of Education in Teaching Malay Language, Master Degree in Malay Studies (Semantics and Pragmatics) and Doctoral Degree in Malay Language Studies (Semantics and Pragmatics). Her area of interests are Semantic and Pragmatic, Sociopragmatic, Semantic Cognitive, Teaching Malay Language, Translation and Qualitative Research in the Malay Studies . Currently supervising Masters and Ph.D students in mastering the research in Malay Linguistic and the Teaching and Learning of Malay Language.

Dr. Amini Amir Abdullah

Director, Islamic Center, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia

Amini Amir Abdullah is a Director at the Islamic Center, Universiti Putra Malaysia and also a lecturer at the Faculty of Human Ecology, Universiti Putra Malaysia. He holds a Bachelor degree from the University of Malaya, Master of Arts (Usuluddin) from the University of Science, Penang and a PhD in Islamic Studies from The University of Birmingham, United Kingdom. His research interest is in the area of ethnic relations from the Islamic perspectives.

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