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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 Chulalongkorn University. Overview. The history and future of ASEAN Our base-line survey attempts to measure:

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attitudes and awareness toward asean findings of a ten nation survey

Attitudes and Awarenesstoward ASEAN:Findings of a Ten Nation Survey

Conducted by

Dr. Eric C. Thompson

National University of Singapore

Dr. Chulanee Thianthai

Chulalongkorn University

overview
Overview
  • 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
subjects
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 ~ 200-220 students per university
  • Average Age: 20 years old
methods
Methods
  • September to November 2007
  • Survey questionnaires were handed to students from leading universities
findings attitudes toward asean
Findings: Attitudes toward ASEAN
  • Toward ASEAN as a Whole

Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam

Most common across the region

Singapore and some other countries

Myanmar*

*Responses from Myanmar were Bi-modal: Positive and Skeptical

findings attitudes toward asean6
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”

Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam Strongest Agreement

Singapore Myanmar Least Agreement

findings attitudes toward asean7
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

findings knowledge about the region and the association
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
findings knowledge about the region and the association9
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%)
  • Nearly 50% could identify year of founding
    • Most in Laos, Vietnam, Indonesia
    • Least in Thailand and Myanmar

1967

findings orientation toward the region and countries
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
findings orientation toward the region and countries11
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
findings sources of information about the region
Findings: Sources of informationabout 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

findings sources of information about the region13
Findings: Sources of informationabout 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
findings aspirations for integration and action
Findings: Aspirations for integration and action
  • Economic Cooperation
  • Tourism
  • Development Assistance
  • Educational Exchange
  • Security and Military Cooperation
  • Sports
  • Cultural Exchange
  • Political Cooperation

Most Important to Least Important Aspects of Integration and Cooperation

As ranked by “Strong Agreement” of students across the region

findings aspirations for integration and action15
Findings: Aspirations for integration and action

Issues Crucial to Cooperation and Awareness

  • Most important:
    • Poverty Reduction
    • Education Exchange and Improvements
    • Science and Technology Development
  • Moderately important:
    • Natural Resource and Environmental Management
  • Low importance:
    • Cultural Preservation and Promotion
findings aspirations for integration and action16
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)
  • Science and Technology Development
    • Very low importance in Singapore, but high elsewhere
  • Disaster Prevention and Relief; Regional Identity and Solidarity also highly variable
national summaries
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.
national summaries18
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.
national summaries19
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.
national summaries20
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.
national summaries21
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)
general summary
General Summary
  • ASEAN is in potential if not in fact, more than a diplomatic “talking shop”
  • Students display
    • High knowledge about ASEAN
    • Positive attitudes toward ASEAN
    • Consider themselves “Citizens” of ASEAN
  • Strongest ASEAN-enthusiasm among the newest, least-affluent members (with the exception of Myanmar)
general summary23
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.
attitudes and awareness toward asean findings of a ten nation survey24

Attitudes and Awarenesstoward 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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