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Rooted Muslim Cosmopolitanism: An Ethnographic Study of Malay Malaysian Students’ Cultivation and Performance of Cosmopolitanism on Facebook and Offline.

HAJI-MOHAMAD, SITI,MAZIDAH,BINTI (2014) Rooted Muslim Cosmopolitanism: An Ethnographic Study of Malay Malaysian Students’ Cultivation and Performance of Cosmopolitanism on Facebook and Offline. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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This thesis analyses the potential of Facebook as well as offline social interactions and experiences in cultivating cosmopolitan sensibilities and the performance of cosmopolitanism in both online and offline spaces. Cosmopolitanism has received immense attention in academia but its discourse is slow to incorporate everyday online experiences. In today’s world, when the use of social network sites such as Facebook have become commonplace, it is imperative that use of such a site, and its ensuing experiences, be included in the field of cosmopolitanism studies. This thesis contends for its inclusion and has chosen Facebook as the site from which to study UK-based Malay Malaysian students’ online experiences, in order to investigate the potential of the site in cultivating the students’ cosmopolitan sensibilities and cosmopolitan performances together with the students’ offline experiences. This thesis emphasises the need for the voices of the individuals to be heard, and their experiences to be understood within their own contexts. By capturing their voices, the nuances in their use of the site, their cosmopolitan sensibilities and performances could be obtained. To achieve this, an ethnographic approach that employed semi-structured interviews and online observation is used. This research has captured the voices of the respondents and found a specific form of cosmopolitanism that is influenced by their dominant Malay Muslim context, so creating what this thesis author has labelled as rooted Muslim cosmopolitanism. This concept refers to a form of cosmopolitanism rooted in the students’ Malay Muslim identity; the online and offline contexts they are in which are a replication of the host society’s contexts and their own home contexts. The discussion centres on the students’ negotiation of Malay Muslim identities in both online and offline contexts. This thesis contributes a different angle to the understanding of cultural religious cosmopolitanism for Malaysian and the general cosmopolitanism discourse, through a number of elements including: online experiences, international students as cosmopolitan actors and everyday experiences. An analytical framework was employed that separates cosmopolitan sensibilities and performance by using the six dynamics of online cosmopolitanism: self-reflexivity; motivation; affordances and features; self-disclosure and self-censorship; collapsed contexts and audience; and privacy, as well as a call for rethinking what cosmopolitanism and cosmopolitan are.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Facebook, Cosmopolitanism, cosmopolitan sensibilities, cosmopolitan performance, Malay Malaysian, international students, identity, Islam.
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Geography, Department of
Thesis Date:2014
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:05 Dec 2014 09:22

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