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Title: Popular TV fiction: cultural identities and unconscious Malay psyche in Adam & Hawa
Authors: Mohd Muzhafar Idrus
Ruzy Suliza Hashim
Raihanah Mohd Mydin
Keywords: Postcolonial literature
Popular culture
Malay cultural identities
Issue Date: 3-Aug-2015
Publisher: Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand
Abstract: Since the turn of the 21st century, popular Malay TV fiction has been thriving, popular, and critically-acclaimed due to their extensive local, national reach. Drawing more than 11 million viewers, including staggering online reruns, this sheer popularity of Malay TV fiction has led to the questioning of issues viewers can relate to. In this paper, we contextualize popular Malay TV fiction within a space of cultural identities, focusing on the analysis of the 2012-2013 TV fiction hits, Adam & Hawa. We highlight the potential sites of unconscious Malay psyche in TV fiction, a psyche formed through preservation of and contestation to Malay cultural identities, intersecting modernity, adat (customs), and religion. Specifically, we theorize that although Malay subjects deviate from the designated adat, for instance, through internalizing alcohol dependence and cohabitation, this theory posits that they eventually stream themselves, seemingly coordinating with the notions of adat-Islamic values such as forgiveness and repentance. By reading TV fiction’s narrative exchanges, unconscious Malay psyche implies the existence of how some Malay subjects participate in and become involved with the social and modern spheres, eventually gesturing or indexing conformation to tradition and religious labels. Using the triple lenses of hybridity, alternative modernities, and social imaginary, we also wish to highlight that unconscious Malay psyche may continue to reshape and perhaps de-familiarize ourselves about Malay cultural identities. Findings are discussed within the convergence fields of Malay cultural identities, unconscious Malay psyche, and ASEAN studies.
Appears in Collections:2nd International Conference on ASEAN Studies (ICONAS 2) Proceedings Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand

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