The Asia-Pacific in the Age of Transnational Mobility

The Asia-Pacific in the Age of Transnational Mobility

The Search for Community and Identity on and through Social Media

Edited by Catherine Gomes

Anthem Southeast Asian Studies

Asia Pacific in the Age of Transnational Mobility addresses and discusses the challenges of community and identity in the evolving transnational migrant and ethnographic landscapes of the region in the era of social media.

Paperback, 244 Pages


February 2020

£25.00, $40.00

  • About This Book
  • Reviews
  • Author Information
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  • Table of Contents
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About This Book

As the age of social media progresses, the Asia Pacific, like the rest of the world, is experiencing an increase in cultural diversity and global connection. Those within the region are witnessing rapid social and cultural changes. As individuals and groups navigate through an increasingly mobile, transnational and multicultural ethnographic landscape, social media provides a sense of belonging for these networked communities.

Social media allows individuals and groups to map and redefine their evolving communal and national identities and thus form sometimes new, vibrant and necessary communities to help create individual and group belonging and agency. While creating a sense of belonging and agency in their respective homeland(s), individuals and groups are also able to connect to global networks. Recognising these layered and intertwined complexities governing societal and cultural cohesion, the authors in this collection each discuss the innate challenges of the social media era on culture, identity and social interaction. This original empirical work documents social media as a user platform for the expression of individual and collective identities.


‘This is a crucially important volume on transnational mobility that brings together excellent studies covering a geographical range from Australia to Vietnam. What sets the volume apart from others that have engaged with questions of transnationalism is that each study builds on exceptionally rich material while engaging with the bigger questions of migration and mobility.’
—Michiel Baas, Research Fellow, Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore

‘An exemplary text that highlights how the Asia Pacific is driving the age of digital connectivity and how Asians are redefining their location, identity and belonging through the internet and social media.’ –Selvaraj Velayutham, Senior Lecturer, Department of Sociology, Macquarie University, Australia

‘A groundbreaking collection of essays that represent the latest and cutting-edge scholarship which critically examines the impact and implications of social media on defining and shaping the intersections and interactions of transnational migrations and other forms of border crossings with community belonging and identity constructions in the Asia Pacific today.’ –Jonathan Y. Tan, Archbishop Paul J. Hallinan Professor of Catholic Studies, Department of Religious Studies, and affiliated faculty in the Ethnic Studies and Asian Studies Programs, Case Western Reserve University, USA

‘This volume breaks many new grounds, and is a brilliant example of cutting-edge interdisciplinary social research. It will be an invaluable resource for students and scholars of cultural studies, mobility research and Southeast Asian studies.’ –Peidong Yang, Research Fellow, Division of Sociology, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

‘Gomes has brought together a range of scholars to investigate how people in the Asia-Pacific use social media to articulate their sense of identity and community in the midst of transience, cultural diversity and transnational mobility. This book fills a gap by connecting the everyday social media practices of people from the Asia-Pacific with their social and cultural contexts, at times in a controlled communication environment.’ –Supriya Singh, Professor, Sociology of Communications, RMIT University, Australia

Author Information

Catherine Gomes is a Senior Lecturer at RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia.


Anthem Southeast Asian Studies

Table of Contents

List of figures and tables; Acknowledgements; Notes on Contributors; Introduction; Section 1: Social Media, Mobility, Transience and Transnational Relationships; 1. Female Indonesian Migrant Domestic Workers in Hong Kong: A Case Study of Advocacy through Facebook and the Story of Erwiana Sulistyaningsih; 2. Media and Mobilities in Australia: A Case Study of Southeast Asian International Students’ Media Use for Well-Being; 3. Connecting and Re-Connecting with Vietnam: Migration, Vietnamese Overseas Communities and Social Media; 4. Liking It, Not Loving It: International Students in Singapore and Their Navigation of Everyday Life in Transience; Section 2: Social Media and Existing Multicultural Relationships in a Controlled Communication Environment.; 5. Is ‘Allah Just for Muslims’?: Religion, Indigenization and Boundaries in Malaysia; 6. Ethnic Minorities in the Multi-Ethnic Heritage in Melaka: Reconstructing Dutch Eurasian and Chitty Melaka Identites through Facebook; 7. Nostalgia and Memory: Remembering the Malayan Communist Revolution in the Online Age; 8. New and Traditional Media in Malaysia: Conflicting Choices for Seeking Useful and Trusted Information in Everyday Life; Index.


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