Communication campaigns for building national unity: The ``Neighborliness Campaign'' in Kajang, Malaysia

Maureen Taylor, Purdue University


Communication plays an important role in the nation-building practices of developing nations. This dissertation argues that public relations, as a tool to build relationships between previously unrelated social systems or as a tool to modify existing relationships between organizations and publics, offers a valuable frame through which to view the nation building process. When communication and public relations are viewed as tools for creating and maintaining relationships nationally, the nation state emerges as a truly communicatively constructed system.^ This dissertation posited and then investigated a communicative approach to nation building. Communication campaigns in developing nations are used to achieve a variety of nation building functions. This study examined the Neighborliness Campaign in Malaysia that was designed to improve national unity from the perspective of the campaign planners and the intended public. Two samples were compared--individuals living in areas with the campaign and a control group. Quantitative and qualitative evidence showed that communication campaigns can contribute to nation building efforts by fostering cooperative attitudes. However, results from secondary measures suggest that factors other than the Neighborliness Campaign may affect campaign outcome. ^




Major Professor: Carl H. Botan, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Business Administration, Marketing|Political Science, General|Language, Rhetoric and Composition

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