Tween consumers today interact with brands, television media and friends as their main agents of socialization. These agents have impacts on their consumption patterns. In the Malaysian market, the tween segment has emerged and also taken the retail trade by storm. Tweens are now able to influence their parents’ purchasing decisions and this has changed the spending behaviour of their family. This paper seeks to examine consumer socialization sources for tweens and how these socialization agents can influence their preference for branded apparels. Data was collected using a structured survey questionnaire to elicit responses on the purchase preferences of branded apparels. The respondents comprised of 150 urban tweens between the ages of 8 to 12 years. Findings revealed that urban tweens had relatively high awareness on brand names and strong purchase preferences for branded apparels. Peer, parental and advertisement influences, combined with their obsession for television media, have significantly affected their purchase of branded apparels. Arguably, parental selective power still has some exertion on tween’s purchase decisions although the influence is declining. Parents and tweens often wear apparels of the same brands. The findings of this study have several implications for marketers, consumers, and family policy makers.
Tweens, consumer socialization, parental influence, peer influence, parental selective power
This study investigated the relationships between birth order, personality, academic performance, and parent-child relationship amongst 120 college students from the Klang Valley. The sample constituted of 30 firstborns, 30 middleborns, 30 lastborns, and 30 only children with a mean age of 20.0 years (SD= 1.85). Instruments used in this study were Ten Item Personality Inventory (TIPI) and Parent-Child Relationship Survey (PCRS). Results indicated that participants of different birth orders did not differ significantly in terms of their personality, academic performance and parent-child relationship. Furthermore, this study also found no relationship between parent-child relationship and academic performance. However, extraversion was found to be correlated positively with academic performance. Besides, this study also indicated that parent-child relationship did correlate with children’s openness to experience, emotional stability, and conscientiousness. This implies the importance of a match between one’s personality trait and field of study, as well as the importance of good parenting practices.
The paper explores the dimensions of happiness capital among youth as joy-seekers in different contexts. Due to the increasing use of social networks, the youth are increasingly pursuing perpetual happiness. Happiness capital by itself motivates the youth to move better towards the goals of happiness. The present research examined happiness capital and development of youth of the age groups of 15-29 years through different variables. The research was conducted in Tehran City, in which 489 respondents were randomly selected from different parts and neighbourhoods of the city. It explored the forces responsible for not-ever-lasting happiness among the youth. It was mainly based on the hypothesis that “social and economic conditions such as income, employment, general quality of life and successful marriage create happiness capital within the youth”. The research method used in this work was a combination of theoretical frameworks and empirical realities. The paper concludes that in the present changing and globalizing world, societies must make the necessary policies for the happiness and leisure pursuits of the youth in order to prevent the likely controversies.
Happiness capital, social networks, quality of happiness, life satisfaction, well-being
Malay is described as an alphabetic language with salient syllabic structures. In our attempt to develop a reading intervention program for early Malay struggling readers, word analysis of Malay children’s stories was conducted. Additionally, in order to have a better understanding of Malay word structures, a cross-linguistic comparison with English was attempted. The results indicate significant cross-language differences for Malay and English words in terms of phoneme-grapheme correspondences, syllabic structure and types of inflectional morphemes. Malay is empirically shown to be a transparent language but with multiple syllabic structures and inflectional morphemes. The analysis also revealed that the most frequent occurring word structures in the Malay texts were bi-syllabic, with CV+CVC, CV+CV, V+CVC, and CVC+CVC word structures. This suggests that unlike English, the major set of word stimuli in early Malay reading intervention programs have to be bi-syllabic, which implies that additional syllabic decoding skills have to be taught in early reading intervention.
Word analysis, cross-linguistics, English, Malay, reading intervention
Genre-specific scales are available to evaluate students’ writing in English as a Second Language (ESL) situations, but instructors may still feel a need to develop new scales to match their specific testing situations. In order to develop a valid instrument for their testing situation, the researchers reviewed the literature and carried out a survey as well as a focus group study. These led them to a number of subscales, namely, content, organization, vocabulary, language conventions and overall effectiveness. The paper reviews how the band descriptors for the content subscale of the Analytic Scale of Argumentative Writing (ASAW) were determined. Toulmin’s (1958/2003) model was used to analyze the patterns of argument in 20 purposely selected argumentative essays written by a group of Malaysian students. The results of the analysis provided the researchers with descriptors for five levels of writing ability. The subscale was tested for inter- and intra-rater reliability as well as concurrent validity. Positive results were observed. ESL writing instructors and evaluators may find the subscales useful for formative assessment purposes. In addition, the samples can be useful models for ESL students to differentiate the successful from unsuccessful argumentative content in writing courses.
Assessing English as a second language writing, writing scale development
Two experiments were carried out to investigate the impacts of musical ‘fit’ on the choice between two products when the opportunity and ability to consider their relative advantages were either limited (Experiment 1) or ample (Experiment 2). Experiment 1 asked participants to read complex descriptions of two watches within a short time. The watches corresponded with either the luxurious stereotype of classical music or the modish stereotype of funk music. The participants chose between them while listening to either classical music, funk music or no music. Experiment 2 repeated the methodology except that the alternative choice scenario gave the participants more time to choose between the watches. In Experiment 1, when classical music was played, more participants chose the ‘luxurious’ watch and, when funk was played, more participants chose the modish watch. In Experiment 2, choices were not influenced by the music. This suggests that musical ‘fit’ influences the preferences between products, but only when opportunity and ability to consider them are limited.
Strategic alliances (SAs) are becoming a popular and prominent strategy to help many firms sustain its competitive advantage in the rapid and unexpected global economy. This inter-organisational structure is becoming essential feature in today’s intensely competitive market as a means for facilitating market entry, acquiring new technology, leveraging economies of scale, and enhancing new product development capabilities. Additionally, in the recent trends of strategic alliance literature, they have been linked to the organisational learning literature where alliances create environments for learning and knowledge transfer. This phenomenon is referred to as ‘alliance-based learning’. The main purpose of this paper is to discuss how learning can be promoted via alliance arrangement. The study used an in-depth case study method, where a child business was set up upon the signing of strategic alliance agreement between parent partner in Malaysia with foreign parent partner from the UK, and the partnership had included learning as one of their main objectives.
This study examined the contributions of verbal abuse to internalizing problems among 324 early adolescent students (aged 11-13 years) in Selangor, and the mediating role negative attributional style plays in this relationship. Students were selected using a cluster sampling method and responded to a self-administered questionnaire. Children.s Perception of Parental Verbal Aggression (CPPVA; Solomon & Serres, 1999), The Children.s Attributional Style Questionnaire (CASQ; Seligman et al., 1984) and Internalizing Symptoms Scale for Children (ISSC; Merrell & Walters, 1998) were used to measure the variables in this study. Data were analyzed using Baron and Kenny.s (1986) statistical framework for assessing the mediational effects. Findings suggest that negative attributional style partially mediates verbal abuse and internalizing problems. This study sheds light on how verbal abuse contributes to internalizing problems in Asian context. Implications for intervention and prevention work related to internalizing problems among early adolescent students are also discussed.
Internalizing problems, verbal abuse, negative attributional style, early adolescents
Energy choices that are made today will greatly influence the climate of tomorrow. In addition to reducing emission of greenhouse gases, renewable energy sources will also enhance future energy security. In this vein, a study utilizing a cross-sectional research design was conducted to examine the factors affecting the willingness to pay for renewable energy (RE) among households in Malaysia. A self-administered questionnaire was used as a tool for data collection. The mean age of the respondents was 42 years, with both genders equally represented. The results indicated that that majority of the respondents were concerned about the environment and showed a positive attitude towards it. Nonetheless, there were differences in the levels of awareness and knowledge with respect to different types of RE. Age and RE awareness were found to have significant relationships with the willingness to pay for renewable energy. The results also indicated that higher educated consumers were more willing to pay for renewable energy, whereas no gender differences were observed. Strengthening support and ultimately adoption of RE products and services have to be intensified as the willingness to pay for RE by the respondents was found to be modest.
Renewable energy, household, environment, attitude, willingness to pay
The prevalence of depression in Malaysia instigated the twofold objectives of the present study. First, the relationship between perceived parental warmth, self-esteem and depression was examined, followed by the exploration on the role of self-esteem as a mediator between perceived parental warmth and depression among early adolescents. The model for early adolescent’s depression was guided by Beck’s cognitive theory of depression and parental acceptance-rejection theory. A total of 1394 adolescents aged 13 to 15 years, who reported living with both married and biological parents, provided complete self-report data on the measures (Conger’s subscale for parental warmth, Rosenberg Self-esteem Scale, Beck Depression Inventory for Malays) for the three observed variables (namely, perceived parental warmth, self-esteem and depression). In order to determine the role of self-esteem as a mediator, Pearson correlation was first conducted to ensure that the initial variable (perceived parental warmth) was related to the outcome (depression) and mediator (self-esteem) variable as suggested by Baron and Kenny (1986). Path analysis was then employed to establish the mediating effect of self-esteem. Results revealed that the data from the study fitted the model and that perceived parental warmth had an indirect effect on depression through self-esteem. Findings also revealed that self-esteem was a complete mediator in the relationship between perceived parental warmth and depression. Implications for the alternative approach in preventing depression were further discussed.
Depression, early adolescent, mediator, perceived parental warmth, self-esteem
This paper discusses the profiles of the standard accent of Malay language in Malaysia. The discussions are linked with the issues of identity and integration values. For this purpose, five phonological variables which had been identified as relevant in these regards were chosen and analysed, namely, the final syllable open-ended vowel (a) such as in saya ‘I’, the final syllable close-ended vowel (i) such as in bilik ‘room’ and (u) such as in duduk ‘sit’, the initial (r) such as in rumah ‘home’, and the post-vocalic (r) such as in pasar ‘market’. The pronunciation of these variables by the informants in four formal speech styles, which had been specially designed, was recorded. A total of 125 informants from four cities were involved in this study. The profile of accent was examined from five social variables. These include the informants’ socio-economic status, gender, age, geographical location and native or non-native speaker factor. The study reveals that the notion of the national standard accent of Malaysian Malay - at some point - has been demonstrated by the informants and this is applicable through all the five social variables, within two patterns of phonological variables. Firstly, the phonological variables of (i), (u), and (r)1 were used prominently as standard accent, and secondly, (a) and (r)2 were used alternately between the standard and non-standard accents. The findings illustrate the existence and the growth of national identity and integration values, where the informants were able to accommodate their accent to the standard variation in the formal context of the study. In this sense, they are also inclined to identify themselves more with the national identity as compared to the local identity.
Standard accents, Malay language, phonological variables, speech styles, social variables, identity, integration
In symbolising society, the father is a significant cultural representation of authority or power. James Joyce’s works are commonly read for Irish history, his unique style of writing, and as sources of autobiography. However, his Finnegans Wake (1939) stands out for its unanalysable textuality, creating a form of authority in itself. The omnipresence of the father figure as a performer of paternal authority in almost every page of Joyce’s final work reflects an obsession within Lacanian psychoanalysis, that of imaginary and symbolic ‘fathers’ standing in for the biological father. This study thus attempted to identify the role of the father in Joyce’s own life, as well as in Finnegans Wake, based on Jacques Lacan’s definition of the father. In order to examine James Joyce’s father foreclosure, that is, his expulsion of the father from the Symbolic order, this article focuses on the connections and functions of the writer’s Real father, John Joyce; the Imaginary father in Finnegans Wake, H.C.E; and the role of the Symbolic father, performed conceptually by religion. John Joyce and H.C.E, his literary projection, prove impotent in performing their patriarchal responsibilities; while Joyce himself rejects the influence of the Church. In short, despite the paternal function being absent from Joyce’s life, the father figure is very much present in his works. Studying the function of these fathers in Joyce’s life indicates that he suffered from father foreclosure for two reasons: the failure of his real father, and his refusal to accept any other form of paternal authority.
James Joyce, father foreclosure, Lacanian psychoanalysis, orders of subjectivity, paternal authority, castration.
This study aimed at determining whether Mandarin language attrition occurs in terms of Chinese character recognition, word order, and writing ability after a two-month holiday. The methodology of the study is mainly quantitative, and the data were obtained through pre- and post- tests. Pre- and post- Mandarin tests were conducted among 65 participants. The results showed that slight attrition was found in Chinese character recognition, while serious attrition occurred in word order and writing ability. The reasons for the attrition were also discussed. The study suggested that more attention be paid to learning Chinese word order and writing and less to Chinese character recognition for Mandarin learners, especially in Malaysia.
Language attrition, Mandarin, Chinese character recognition, word order, writing ability
Due to the emerging complicated global design problems, new design research methodologies need to analyse the structures and processes of design cognition for discovering multi-aspect and multi-variable design strategies. Adapting such objective methods of design assessment, as opposed to the traditional survey based subjective methods of design performance studies, is therefore essential for improvements of design education in rapidly developing Malaysian design schools. This paper proposes Protocol Analysis Methodology for facilitating microscopic study of educational design performance assessment. Protocol Analysis has become the most prevailing research methodology for design research over the last two decades; and can be considered as a reliable methodology due to its objectiveness and accuracy in studying designers’ cognitive actions. This paper illustrates how the protocol analysis methodology was used in one experiment for comparing designers’ creativity when working with two types of design media, namely, traditional sketching and Virtual Reality 3Dimentional sketching. In this study, a descriptive statistical analysis on protocol data conveyed insight into novice designers’ cognitive protocols microscopically in form of various charts and graphs. Results offered objective insights into the changes in the design process that were associated with applying different design media. This paper presents background literature, explains the conducted protocol analysis experiment, and presents results from the protocol data to reveal designers’ action and thought protocols. This paper also recommends the application of protocol analysis methodology for performing microscopic design study in architectural education in Malaysia. The methodology could also be extended to cover other fields of design in the country. This study recommends the use of protocol analysis methodology to provide empirical data from codification of subjective observations, hence, becoming a stepping stone for leveraging research on teaching and learning in architectural design studios in Malaysian universities.
Albert Hourani, the British-Lebanese historian of Islamic history, bases his theorisation of Islam, which he claims is not of divine revelation, largely on three factors that revolve around the questions of prophecy, scripture and culture. This article seeks to refute the said claim, arguing that Hourani’s contentions are indefensible. With reference to prophecy, Hourani contends that it was impossible for God to communicate with a human being; rather He manifested himself in a human person, like He did with Jesus (peace be upon him). In the absence of a mediator, such an argument has as its proof of validity only the claim of the person so divinely-manifested. In the case of Muhammad (S.A.W), God sent Gabriel, His archangel, to convey His revelations, thereby making the Qur’an, God’s words, concrete proof of Muhammad’s prophethood. With reference to the question of scripture, this article argues that the fundamental characteristics of the Qur’an, its language and consistency of messages in the face of tumultuous surroundings belie the contention that it was an adaptation from other religions mainly Christianity and Judaism. As for the absence of a viable Arab culture which therefore made borrowings and adoptions inevitable, the article points out that there was an established culture characterised by diversity, differences, economic activities such as trade and the like, all of which render invalid the notion of a cultural vacuum. This article thus argues that Hourani’s contentions are untenable. This article further asserts that any analysis of Islam should be based on its main and essential source, the Qur’an.
The Qur’an, divine revelation, prophecy, scripture, culture, prophethood
This article attempts to explain the uniqueness in the history of Johore in terms of how the government has gone through and experienced a totally different history, as compared to other Malay states. This writing about Johore’s history is divided into several stages of evolution, transformation and metamorphosis. Firstly, this paper will discuss the evolution and early history of Johore, which began before the year 1530. Secondly, this paper will explain the evolution and transformation of Johore’s history from 1530 to 1640, followed by the third stage which will discuss the transformation in the history of Johore from 1641 to 1699. The discussion in the fourth stage revolves around the transformation of Johore’s history from 1700 to 1720 and the fifth stage continues to discuss the transformation of Johore’s history from 1721 to 1784. The sixth stage will discuss the transformation of Johore’s history from 1785 to 1824, and lastly, the seventh stage will explain the metamorphosis in the history of Johore after 1825 until today. All these seven stages of development in the history of Johore, which involved the processes of evolution, transformation and metamorphosis, have shown the strength and competitiveness of the government in facing all kinds of challenges and how it has successfully maintained its heritage and identity as a Johore-Malay state for centuries.
In 1961, Singapore launched her first Development Plan with the main purpose to bring rapid economic growth to the small island. Singapore also needed to generate a large scale economy to satisfy its own domestic needs as well as the needs of the global market. The merger with Persekutuan Tanah Melayu (PTM) or the Malayan Federation enabled her to gain access to plenty of natural resources available in Malaya and also guaranteed Singapore a reliable source of water needed for its industrial activities. The confrontation that had occurred between Indonesia and Malaysia, combined with internal political problems, fastened Singapore’s wish to merge with the Malayan Federation. This study revealed that Singapore had always wanted a peaceful environment and quick conflict resolution in order to ensure the development and prosperity of the state. As a small state, Singapore had no choice but to be wise and careful in handling issues related to its sovereignty and in conducting relations with its neighbouring countries. In conclusion, Singapore has always worked hard to overcome any obstacle to its economic development and handle conflicts with its neighbouring countries with care to ensure its national interests and survival in the Southeast Asia region.
National development, economic growth, political competition and political recognition
There has been theoretical as well as applied evidence about gender differences in investment behaviour and investor perceptions. The present study investigates the important factors for choice of mutual funds and critically analyses the satisfaction level for various mutual fund schemes. Mutual fund is a retail product designed to target small investors, salaried people and others who are intimidated by the mysteries of stock market but like to reap the benefits of stock market investing. At the retail level, investors are unique and a highly heterogeneous group and their fund/scheme selections also widely differ. The study favours Asset Management Companies for designing suitable products to meet the changing financial needs of the investors. Thus, examination of a sample of 200 (83 females and 117 males) investor engineer respondents discerned the differences in the choice of mutual funds and its likely implications on future investment for male and female engineer investors. A higher level of awareness and satisfaction among the male respondents was observed in the study. The results of the study will have some useful implications for the engineers in selecting investment products and for Asset Management Companies for their product designing and marketing.
The key elements of effective leadership are intelligence, emotional intelligence and spiritual intelligence. The present paper traces the early conceptualization of intelligence as an analytical ability to effective leadership and the current proposal of models of leader’s mind that combines traditional analytical ability with emotional intelligence and spiritual intelligence. There are a number of psychological theories and research which have tried to apply a combination of intelligence, emotional intelligence and spiritual intelligence to successful leadership. While going through the various research, it was found that integration of IQ, EQ, and SQ allows leaders to thrive on uncertainty, deals creatively with rapid change, and realizes the full potential of those who lead or work with them. The results suggest that we think with our intelligence, along with our emotions, as well as our bodies (EQ) and spirits, our values, our hopes, our unifying sense of meaning and values (SQ). Spiritual intelligence is about having a direction in life, and being able to heal ourselves of all the resentments. It is thinking of us as an expression of a higher reality.
Leadership, intelligence, emotional intelligence, spiritual intelligence, analytical ability, and creativity
Education gives us not only a platform to succeed, but also the knowledge to polish our social conduct, character, independent thinking and self respect; its greatest gift in fact, is the set of values it imparts to all of us. Education, the continuous learning experience, makes us learn from people and situations, success and failures, leaders and followers and then getting groomed to be the person one aspires to be. The actual aim of education is to teach how to think than what to think. Thus, education not only acts as a means to get a job for earning our livelihood but also helps us lead a life of values. If education makes the learners mechanical and materialistic in their approach, it surely fails to inculcate human values. Education will have little meaning if it fails to train us to apprehend the eternal values, to appreciate the supreme human virtues and the simple decencies of life. However, presently, there is a popularly held belief in the world of education that social studies and humanities are non-essential segments of the curriculum. The students who study science and technical subjects have better job prospects and hence, better fortune as compared to those who opt for humanities and liberal arts courses. Besides, it is also assumed that the students who undertake liberal arts courses are intellectual and academically diligent. The present paper focuses on the relevance of humanities and liberal arts courses if done by the engineering students. It also discusses how the humanities courses focus on fostering value based education so as to develop learning outlook, strong character and analytical attitude.
Creativity, critical thinking, humanities and liberal arts courses, interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary education, values based education
Indian academia adds close to 3.5 million graduates and post-graduates every year; on the face of it, this does not seem to be a major challenge. However, a large number of these young professionals are not adequately equipped to face the highly competitive and very demanding corporate world of today. Most of their focus in the technology domain remains limited to working as a one-man army producing what they read, with little emphasis on application and creativity. Thus, there is a need to polish their skills with respect to disciplines like documentation, systematic processes and all round excellence. These problems are the symptoms of a lack of proper imparting of soft skills in aspiring students. This paper was written to articulate the importance of soft skills for successful career. ‘Soft skills’ is an abstract concept, which is, in fact, a compendium of several components like attitude, abilities, habits and practices that are combined adeptly to maximize one’s work effectiveness. They are much more than just a set of good habits or key abilities. Soft skills are about integrating the right proportion of these components into formidable skills and eventually transforming those skills into competencies.
The present study of intercultural communication in literary discourse attempts to foreground the relevance of the study of Indian Diasporic literary texts by analyzing intercultural communication as represented in Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard and The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai. Desai is an Indian Diasporic writer who introduces words from the Indian languages in particular contexts, and predicates culture specific differences to convey her meaning to the reader. The study aims at providing a contextual framework to the field of literary discourse based upon the tools for analysis of Intercultural Communication enunciated by Allwood (1985).
Literary discourse, diasporic literature, intercultural communication, patterns of thought, patterns of behaviour, patterns of artifact, imprints in nature and cultural presupposition
Technology is paving the way for us, but who is paving the way for the technology - future technocrats. The initiation into the scientific arena was a small step for man but a giant leap for mankind. The arrival of science has altered the life of man and also enriched him with the knowledge that technology can empower man but he must learn to use it for the good of humanity. With the advent of technology that world has shrunk and come closer. The myriad forms of the technology, which are evidently adopted by the individuals in their day-to-day lives, express the need for its further development and dissemination. Mobile technology, internet technology and DTH have become a way of our lives and future technocrats quintessentially need to come up with ways to develop it for the overall growth of our country. The future technocrat is synonymous with the future of technology and hence their role cannot be doubted in this scenario. The objective of this study was to identify and assess the perception of young technocrats on technology use and its dissemination. It is expected that the findings will throw light on the roles of technocrats for designing and developing technologies which are aimed at larger societal welfare. The study will also help in improvising the present curriculum of technical colleges by bridging the gap between humanity and technology dissemination. Our study may also impact the current and future government policies related to the above mentioned issues.
Technology management, technology and assesment, technology policy studies
Engineering curriculum in India, by and large, focuses only on imparting education in the respective technical domain. While such a system has been producing reasonably competitive technocrats, it has not reflected much upon the concept of producing well-rounded engineers. An integration of different streams of knowledge- especially liberal arts, humanities and social sciences - in the engineering curriculum would add this missing dimension. Further, the changing contours of an engineer’s profession have made it necessary for one to broaden one’s outlook and to be able to connect with the rest of the disciplines. Educators world over have started recognising the importance of creativity and critical thinking which are an integral part of liberal arts, humanities and social sciences. In the western context, there has been a greater emphasis on including these courses in the engineering curriculum. In the Indian context, very few institutes have made some niche efforts in including humanities components in their course package. And often, courses in communication, technical writing, principles of management etc. are counted as the only components in humanities. It is very rare for Tech schools to either have open electives or compulsory credits in humanities. This article discusses how important it is for us academics in India to look beyond imparting mere technical education and to include courses in the areas of liberal arts, humanities and social sciences. Further, it looks at how courses in creative areas that integrate science and technology with liberal arts need to be designed and offered. The article draws from the authors’ experience of formulating and teaching such courses.
With the revolution in the prototype in which organizations function, the need of the hour is to prepare the future technocrats accordingly. Technical knowledge, along with knowledge in domains like Soft Skills, Leadership, Entrepreneurship, Conflict Management, Economics, Financial Management and Strategic Management, leads to a better progression of the students. An added advantage, these subjects help students to understand the organization as a whole and help them adapt their behaviours in the corporate sector accordingly. This paper aims to study whether or not the students actually benefit from these subjects.