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The image of Indonesia in Taiwan and its historical change: a case study of the United Daily News
The aim of this thesis is to analyze the image of Indonesia in Taiwan, and its historical development from the 1950s to 2014 as it has been presented by the United Daily News publication. This research will be divided by decade, and aims to deduce two primary themes associated with Indonesia in each decade of the analysis. Then the research will proceed with a discussion of the image of "Indonesia" as it was constructed by the Taiwanese media outlet United Daily News over the course of the past 66 years. This research will discern and articulate how that image has changed over time. This study applies the content analysis method, while also referencing Orientalism as a premise for critical analysis. The research framework proceeds from recognition of the three most foundational elements of the Orientalism concept, as proposed by Qiu De-Liang (2010); "absence of the East," "essential East," and "the dualistic distinction between the East and the West." From the Orientalist perspective this research will explore the (cultural/social) mechanism of image building of "the Other." This study found that the most common themes associated with Indonesia in United Daily News reports of the 1950s were; "overseas Chinese" and "Politics;" in the 1960s they were "International relations" and "Politics;" and in the 1970s and 1980s they were "International Relations" and "Economy." In the 1990s, the image of Indonesia was most closely associated with the terms "Political" and "International." From 2000 to 2016, the terms "New Residents" and "Migrant workers" were most common in United Daily News reports on Indonesia. The research results reveal that the image of Indonesia in United Daily News reports has transformed as Taiwan's position in international affairs has shifted over the last 60 plus years. An attitude expressed by active anti-communist discourse has shifted to more calm assessment, as the political situation on both sides of the Taiwan Strait has shifted from aggressive tones, to voices urging pragmatic diplomacy. Further, the pluralistic culture of Taiwan which has grown over the decades can be witnessed in the research results, as reports have shifted from harsh rejections of “others” who create social problems in the country, to a gradually more accepting outlook towards the “others” in Taiwanese society.
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