Research

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Past Projects

All of SiRC's pre-2010 projects are archived here.


New Media and Society


Research in this area encompasses the effects of the new media (internet and other ICTs) on everyday life in Asian societies. Some of the specific areas covered include internet diffusion and use, cultural representations of information technologies, usability and human-computer interaction amongst others. It also encompasses an analysis of the many factors that lead to people going 'online'. Research in this area also specifically looks at the impact of the new media on local cultures, communities and religions as well as how the new media is affecting the traditional landscape in Asian communities. 


2008: Internet Diffusion in Singapore's Muslim Community

Investigators: SiRC Associates Lee Wai Peng, Shahiraa Sahul Hameed, Shirley Ho

The Muslim-Malay community has the lowest Internet penetration rate amongst Singaporeans. With the cooperation of the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS), this study seeks to describe the types of religious activities Muslim surfers in Singapore engage in on the internet, and uses the theory of planned behaviour as a theoretical framework to examine how internet perception, subjective norms, perceived behavioural control, internet self-efficacy, religiosity and other key demographic variables affect the use of the internet for religious purposes among Muslim surfers in Singapore. Click here to download the report.
 

2006: Games in Asia

Investigators: SiRC Associates Vivian Hsueh-hua Chen, Randolph Kluver, Pia Aquillia
 
The Games in Asia Project (GAP) was an interdisciplinary and transnational research project that investigated the impacts of computer game playing in Asian countries. It was an international collaboration of researchers from different fields including communication, design, architecture, computer science, social science, engineering and from the emerging field of technical research. It also attempted to fill a critical need to facilitate integration of recent research and practice in both academia and industry.
 

2005: The Internet and Religion in Singapore

Investigators: SIRC Associates Randolph Kluver, Ben Detenber, Lee Wai Peng, Shahiraa Sahul Hameed and Pauline Hope Cheong
 
Jointly funded by the Institute of Policy Studies and the Singapore Internet Project, this project examined how the Internet was incorporated into the faith and religious lives of Singaporeans, and identified the factors that shape the social dynamics of religion online and online religion. Click here to download the report.
 

2005: Mobile Spam in Singapore

Investigator: SiRC Associate Shahiraa Sahul Hameed
 
In collaboration with the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland, SiRC associates looked at mobile users opinions on mobile spam across the world.Click here to download the report.
 

2004: The Internet in Singapore

Investigators: SiRC Associates Prof. Eddie Kuo, Assoc. Prof. Alfred Choi, Assistant Prof. Lee Wai Peng.
 
An early, comprehensive analysis of how Singaporeans use the Internet, and the implications for Singapore's society.
 

 

E-Governance, Politics and Policy


Research in this area focuses on the relationship of the new media to larger issues of political action and governance. One of the mahor SIRC initiatives in this area was the Internet and Elections in Asia project, which was part of a larger study on the Internet and Elections worldwide.

2012: Internet and the 201X Elections

 
A joint IPS-SIRC project which studied the use of the Internet in the run-up to Singapore’s General Election in 2011. For more information, please click here.

 

2005: Internet and Elections

Investigators: Randolph Kluver, Lee Wai Peng, Shyam Tekwani, Pia Aquilla, Shahiraa Sahul Hameed.
 
This project examined how the Internet was deployed and used in electoral campaigns across Asia. It was part of the larger Internet and Elections project that is examining the role of the internet in elections on a comparative basis between European, Asian, and North American nations.

 

2004: Use of online government feedback channels in Singapore

Investigator: SIRC Associate Ben Detenber and students Hua Peijun, Stephanie, Loh Zhi Wei and Tan Kok Kuan
 
A follow-up to an earlier E-Government study (Li, Detenber, Lee & Chia, 2003), this project investigated how and why people use the Internet to provide feedback to the government in Singapore. It used and extended Ajzen's (1991) theory of planned behavior to examine the attitudes and perceived norms that predict online feedback behaviors.


New Media Economics


Economics of the Internet

Investigator: Assistant Prof. Wayne Fu.
 
Does the internet bring tangible economic benefits to the nations and people of Asia? Do government investments in infrastructure bring the expected payoffs? This research area tackles the issues of economics and the internet, including an ongoing analysis of the digital divide, as a large percentage of the population of Asia is not yet 'online'. The reasons for this, the repercussions of this and how to reduce the gap are some of the studies that are currently being carried out. E-commerce and the internet is another area that is being widely explored by entrepreneurs, policy makers and academics as this is an area that has much economic potential and is still largely untapped in Asia. How the internet can be harnessed to aid national development in Asian is the other area that is being actively researched within the SiRC.
 

Asian Tsunami Research


The tsunami that hit South and South East Asia on Boxing Day 2004, was the largest natural disaster of this generation. More than 150,000 people lost their lives and many more are still missing. The destruction was spread from India to Indonesia, from Sri Lanka to Malaysia.

Information technologies, particularly the Internet, took on a new role in response to this tragedy. Some existing sites took on new roles, while other sites mushroomed almost overnight. This is similar to the burst activity that occurred after 9-11. Not only have more people turned to the net to receive the most updated news coverage, but the Internet has also played a large role in coordinating logistical efforts, raising funds, expressing views and locating missing people. 

 
SIRC associates looked at this phenomenon to better understand the role of the Internet in response to this tragedy. In collaboration with Webarchivist.org, we identified sites from around the world with relevance to the Tsunami disaster. These sites were archived in a format for later academic and professional analysis. Click here to access the TSUNAMI ARCHIVE .
 

The Tsunami Disaster Web sphere

Investigator: Dr Randy Kluver.


As a result of the aftermath if the Asian tsunami disaster, there has been a burst of online activities from netizens from across the world. In fact, new genres of web sites seemed to be developed almost instantaneously, such as sites providing information on missing persons.
 
To get an understanding of the overall way in which the Internet affected news dissemination, information retrieval, and coping with the tragedy, this study will examine the Tsunami web sphere 


 

Weblogs: A new form of online expression and information dissemination

As a result of the Asian tsunami, there has been a large increase in blogging activity for various purposes- logistical, information dissemination and expression of thoughts and views.
 
Blogging enables individuals to become self-publishers-leaving their words and thoughts uncensored and unedited. It also allows them to share their opinions with anyone and everyone who visits their blog.
 
SiRC Associate Dr Shahiraa Sahul Hameed takes a closer look at how individuals have used blogs as an online outlet for their emotions and thoughts.
 
 

How relief agencies use the Internet to communicate and share information with the public and to mobilize public support

The tsunami disaster affected citizens of dozens of countries, causing the public, survivors, and families and friends to frantically search for information to help reduce anxiety and uncertainty. Given the borderless nature of the Internet, it was a natural choice for information seekers.
 
Unfortunately, not all information sources on the Internet are credible. As such, authoritative online sources, such as relief agencies and governmental sites, become ever more important in times of uncertainty as sources of information. Meanwhile, these web sites also became a platform for mobilization of public support.
 
SiRC Associates Dr Lee Wai Peng and Dr Theng Yin Leng examine how relief agencies used the Internet to communicate with the public and to mobilize support.
 

 

Designing and delivering tsunami stories online. A comparative study of disaster coverage

Online media of different natures conscientiously followed and provided coverage of the tsunami disaster.
 
SiRC Associate Dr. Xu Xiaoge is interested in exploring the different features of online journalism employed; specifically looking at the different approaches and perspectives taken by different types of media.
 
To do this, he plans to conduct a content analysis of relevant web sites, interviews with online journalists and an e-mail survey with online news consumers.
 

 

Images online: Are they providing the 'real' picture


Having witnessed the destruction in South Asia first hand, SIRC Associate Dr Shyam Tekwani questions if the media are showing us the real picture of what is happening. Dr Tekwani, an accomplished photojournalist, spent ten days after the Tsunami travelling throughout India and Sri Lanka documenting photographically the destruction wrought by the tsunami.

Dr Tekwani and Dr Theng Yin Leng's study will examine the way in which the Internet provided the images (by both amateurs and professionals) that people craved (through formal and informal news sites), and what that means for future of the technology.