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Attitudes and Awareness toward ASEAN: Findings of a Ten Nation Survey Conducted by Dr. Eric C. Thompson National University of Singapore Dr. Chulanee Thianthai.

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Presentation on theme: "Attitudes and Awareness toward ASEAN: Findings of a Ten Nation Survey Conducted by Dr. Eric C. Thompson National University of Singapore Dr. Chulanee Thianthai."— Presentation transcript:

1 Attitudes and Awareness toward ASEAN: Findings of a Ten Nation Survey Conducted by Dr. Eric C. Thompson National University of Singapore Dr. Chulanee Thianthai Chulalongkorn University

2 Overview The history and future of ASEAN The history and future of ASEAN Our base-line survey attempts to measure: Attitudes toward ASEAN Knowledge about the region and the association Orientation toward the region and countries Sources of information about the region Aspirations for integration and action Key findings on a nation-by-nation basis Summary of region wide trends

3 Subjects 2,170 undergraduate university students (1064 male and 1106 female) from leading universities in each of the ten member nations of ASEAN A sample of ~ students per university Average Age: 20 years old

4 Methods September to November 2007 Survey questionnaires were handed to students from leading universities NationUniversityLanguage Brunei Univ. of Brunei Darussalam Bahasa Melayu Cambodia Royal Univ. Phnom Penh Khmer Indonesia University of Indonesia Bahasa Indonesia Laos National Univ. of Laos Lao Malaysia Univ. of Malaya Bahasa Melayu Myanmar Distance Education Students Burmese Philippines University of the Philippines English Singapore National Univ. of Singapore English Thailand Chulalongkorn Univ. Thai Vietnam Vietnam National Univ. (Hanoi) Vietnamese

5 Findings: Findings: Attitudes toward ASEAN Toward ASEAN as a Whole ASEAN- enthusiasm ASEAN- positive attitudes ASEAN- ambivalence ASEAN- skepticism Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam Singapore and some other countries Myanmar*Most common across the region *Responses from Myanmar were Bi-modal: Positive and Skeptical

6 Findings: Findings: Attitudes toward ASEAN ASEAN citizenship. Over 75% agreed: Nearly 90% felt that membership in ASEAN is beneficial to their nation and nearly 70 % felt it was beneficial to them personally “ I feel I am a citizen of ASEAN” Singapore Myanmar Least Agreement Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam Strongest Agreement

7 Findings: Findings: Attitudes toward ASEAN Similarities among ASEAN countries Greatest sense of similarity: Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Indonesia Least sense of similarity: Singapore, Brunei, Myanmar, Malaysia Economically and Politically Culturally Dissimilar Similar

8 Findings: Findings: Knowledge about the region and the Association Overall, students have a strong knowledge about the region and Association “How familiar are you with ASEAN ?” Greatest sense of familiarity: Vietnam, Laos Least sense of familiarity: Brunei, Singapore, Myanmar

9 Findings: Findings: Knowledge about the region and the Association Students could list nine out of ten ASEAN countries and identify seven on a map of Southeast Asia. Nearly 75% could identify ASEAN flag Over 80% in all nations, other than Cambodia (63%), Thailand (38%) and Philippines (36%) Over 80% in all nations, other than Cambodia (63%), Thailand (38%) and Philippines (36%) Nearly 50% could identify year of founding Most in Laos, Vietnam, Indonesia Most in Laos, Vietnam, Indonesia Least in Thailand and Myanmar Least in Thailand and Myanmar 1967

10 Findings: Findings: Orientation toward the region and countries Most Salient Countries: Thailand, Malaysia Most Familiar: Thailand, Singapore Sub-regions: Mainland, Maritime Generally, students are most aware and familiar with countries in their own sub-region Within Mainland Southeast Asia, other countries are more salient than familiar In other words, students in Mainland nations feel more familiar with some Maritime countries (Singapore, Malaysia) than with neighbors

11 Findings: Findings: Orientation toward the region and countries Orientations toward Travel and Work Interest in knowing about other ASEAN countries. In general, over 90% Strongest in Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Philippines Weakest in Myanmar Category Country Rankings Travel Travel1 st Singapore, 2 nd Thailand, and 3 rd Malaysia, 4 th Vietnam Work Work1 st Singapore, 2 nd Malaysia, Brunei, and Thailand

12 Findings: Findings: Sources of information about the region Primary Sources: Television, School, Newspapers, Books Secondary Sources: Internet, Radio Others Sources: Sports, Advertising, Friends Least Important Sources: Family, Travel, Movies, Music, Work

13 Findings: Findings: Sources of information about the region Notable Trends Everywhere, Internet rated less important than television and newspapers Importance of Internet reveals a linguistic bias (rather than wealth bias) Media environments differ, for example Radio is especially important in Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos; but not so elsewhere

14 Findings: Findings: Aspirations for integration and action 1.Economic Cooperation 2.Tourism 3.Development Assistance 4.Educational Exchange 5.Security and Military Cooperation 6.Sports 7.Cultural Exchange 8.Political Cooperation Most Important to Least Important Aspects of Integration and Cooperation As ranked by “Strong Agreement” of students across the region

15 Findings: Findings: Aspirations for integration and action Issues Crucial to Cooperation and Awareness Most important: Poverty Reduction Poverty Reduction Education Exchange and Improvements Education Exchange and Improvements Science and Technology Development Science and Technology Development Moderately important: Natural Resource and Environmental Management Natural Resource and Environmental Management Low importance: Cultural Preservation and Promotion Cultural Preservation and Promotion

16 Findings: Findings: Aspirations for integration and action Issues Crucial to Cooperation and Awareness Notable variations across the region Health and Disease Control High importance in nations seeing it as a threat (Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore) but low were problems are endemic (Vietnam, Cambodia) High importance in nations seeing it as a threat (Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore) but low were problems are endemic (Vietnam, Cambodia) Science and Technology Development Very low importance in Singapore, but high elsewhere Very low importance in Singapore, but high elsewhere Disaster Prevention and Relief; Regional Identity and Solidarity also highly variable

17 National Summaries Brunei: Students’ knowledge of the region is very good. Attitudes are mostly positive, sometimes range toward ambivalence. Brunei remains one of the least well known countries. Cambodia: Students are among the strongest ASEAN-enthusiasts. Objective knowledge of the region somewhat less than elsewhere.

18 National Summaries Indonesia: Generally positive attitudes toward the region. Responses in the middle range of those region-wide. Some affinity for Malay-Muslim neighbors; but not to exclusion of the rest of the region. Laos: Among the strongest ASEAN- enthusiasts and strongest objective knowledge of ASEAN.

19 National Summaries Malaysia: Generally positive attitudes toward ASEAN, with some ambivalence. Overall in the middle-range of region-wide responses. Myanmar: Evidence of two distinct attitudes; Skepticism among a substantial minority, generally positive attitudes among the majority. Weaker knowledge of ASEAN relative to the regional average.

20 National Summaries Philippines: Relatively weak knowledge of the region and Association; but generally positive attitude and interest about the region. Singapore: Trend of ambivalence toward the region. Least likely to see ASEAN members as similar; least likely to see themselves as citizens of ASEAN; below average knowledge about the region. But, rate the benefit of their nation’s membership highly. Singapore also the most desirable destination for travel and work.

21 National Summaries Thailand: Generally positive attitudes toward the region and Association. Somewhat strong but uneven knowledge about the region and Association. Vietnam: Among the strongest ASEAN- enthusiast and most knowledgeable about the region and Association. Some evidence of Vietnam’s emergence as a site for work and travel (but still less than Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Brunei)

22 General Summary ASEAN is in potential if not in fact, more than a diplomatic “talking shop” Students display High knowledge about ASEAN High knowledge about ASEAN Positive attitudes toward ASEAN Positive attitudes toward ASEAN Consider themselves “Citizens” of ASEAN Consider themselves “Citizens” of ASEAN Strongest ASEAN-enthusiasm among the newest, least-affluent members (with the exception of Myanmar)

23 General Summary Trend to “associate up” and “dissociate down” Trend to see region as a threat in Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore; but not elsewhere. Need for greater familiarity among Mainland nations However, overall there is a strong trend in commonality of responses and overall positive attitude toward ASEAN throughout the region.

24 Attitudes and Awareness toward ASEAN: Findings of a Ten Nation Survey Conducted by Dr. Eric C. Thompson National University of Singapore Dr. Chulanee Thianthai Chulalongkorn University


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