Digital Media and Democratization. The case of Myanmar

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Digital Media and Democratization. The case of Myanmar

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Publication 1-year master student thesis
Title Digital Media and Democratization. The case of Myanmar
Author(s) Mayor Farguell, Santi
Date 2014
English abstract
This research project aims at exploring the role and potential of digital media in the current democratization process in Myanmar. Understanding democratization as a process of social change that implies empowering civil society and ensuring equality, the question is how digital media contribute to building a participatory democracy in Myanmar after a five decades long military regime. The fast chain of events that led to the recent gradual opening of Myanmar raises doubts and expectations colliding with the vibrant reality of the country. In order to analyse the role of digital media within such a fast-changing scenario, this research intends to answer the following questions: a) How do digital media portray Myanmar? This question will be analysed in relation to the media discourse of the official visit paid by Myanmar’s President Thein Sein to US President Barack Obama in Washington on 20 May 2013. b) How do stakeholders in Myanmar use digital media for democratization? To what extent can digital media become a tool for democratization within a very limited connectivity context? What challenges may the digital media imply in the democratization of Myanmar? Semi-structured interviews with stakeholders were conducted in Yangon to gather up-to-date and first-hand insights. The combination of two qualitative research methods, discourse analysis and semistructured qualitative interviews, aims at building a deeper understanding of the role and potential of digital media in Myanmar. This research pays attention to specificities of Myanmar’s cultural, political and economic context, with a focus on technology and Internet. Field research showed the importance of taking into account the role of social media. A brief theoretical discussion of key concepts such as ‘digital media’, ‘social change’ and ‘democratization’ is provided to build a solid basis for analysis.
Publisher Malmö högskola/Kultur och samhälle
Pages 56
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) Comdev
Social Change
Digital Media
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