So, this week is the 4th week in this 1st semester of my Ph.D journey. I am still in the Sloth zone but I am starting to feel the heat. I just finished a tete-a-tete with my supervisor just now and as expected the whole direction is taking another dimension.
I am totally a sloth! But I am getting the heat NOW!
Initially, I plan to study Siti Nurhaliza’s speech / interviews / press conferences from the point of view of rhetoric (which I never told any soul except for Kakak & Abang Zam! Well, family can always accept your weirdness! Haha!). I sent the first draft to my supervisor circa June-July 2016 before sending Ph.D application (initially, I was interested to do intercultural relationship with focus on the two strata of the Malays – The Progressive & The Conservative; but I later abort the aspiration due to foreseen circumstances! Haha!). It was merely a loose skeleton of the proposal with FRAGILE content and flows. Of course, my supervisor who is the Dean of Faculty of Modern Language and Communication – Prof. Abdul Mua’ti graciously perused the 4-pages proposal (Hahah!) with some notes :-
- Read more about persuasion & previous researches on persuasion;
- Read more about methods besides Neo-Aristotelian;
- The justification to select 4 interview session as the framing of the research;
- Loose Research Questions
Malaysia’s sweetheart. From the naive country bumpkin chanteuse to successful entrepreneur.
The marriage to Datuk K in 2006 was the turning point of Siti Nurhaliza’s communication approach. Prior to the marriage, she was seen as the naive and innocent damsel but after the marriage, you can trace there are more adamant stances in her opinions and albeit the demure persona is still well-intact, her choices of words and tone has become more stern.
Due to my Europe trip and several appointments postponed due to my supervisor’s conflicting hectic schedule, I finally could meet him today. Very Kiasu; I even enlisted all the inquiries and questions on a paper to assuage my curiosity!
I have to say that the more researches I read on rhetoric and all the “background readings”, the more I found that my intended ‘Siti Nurhaliza” proposal was very loose. What is the significance of the research? Sure, I aspire to study how she could “defy the odds and refused to kowtow to the normalcy of hedonism” and “maintained squeaky-clean persona despite being labeled as home-wrecker and interrogated on fertility issues” (my very own words from the abysmal proposal! LMAO!); – BUT does this symbolizes any knowledge gap?
Last year, whole Malaysia was hysterical when rumors about Siti Nurhaliza’s alleged pregnancy came about. She chose to keep it as secret afraid that the pregnancy won’t last long. As expected, she suffered miscarriage as the pregnancy aged 2 months-old. A harsh comment from holier-than-thou fan sparked Internet frenzy but Siti Nurhaliza managed to handle the crisis professionally WITHOUT any image meltdown. This is another reason why I think I need to abort this intended research. Hehe.
It is no mystery that typical Malays (including me, of course!) respond well to Siti Nurhaliza due to her demure persona BECAUSE we worship icons that REPRESENT OUR SOCIETAL NORMS & VALUES! And when I perused her interviews clips in You-Tube, Siti Nurhaliza has always been very composed and safeguards herself well – except for the one time when Galaksi reporter asked her provocatively on her alleged secret visit to a hospital for fertility treatment in 2010; Siti Nurhaliza’s voice turned icy and defiant. Though still maintaining that demure persona, she snapped back at the reporter saying :-
“Ohh, bagi saya itu soalan yang begitu, peribadi dan saya rasa yang taknak cakap tidak atau pun iya… Harap-harap orang akan tanya soalan yang lebih cerdik dari soalan yang ada sekarang.” (Ohh, for me that is too personal for me and I won’t disclose whether it is true or not… Hopefully, people will ask me cleverer questions other than the ones being asked to me now.)
Not that vicious but you can trace the iciness in her defiant-yet-demure tone. That is Siti Nurhaliza! Well, Siti Nurhaliza has become subject of academic research in branding marketability (Mazzini et.al, 2013) and also musicology (Barendgret, B., 2006) but none has explore on her persuasive communication or rhetoric! Well, I guess this time around I have to ditch her; perhaps in the future? But I always like her (,”)
Apart from this acidic retaliation (but still disguised under cultured and demure persona), I couldn’t find any vicious remarks by Siti Nurhaliza. Not fair to say but she is really professional when it comes about safeguarding her public image. No faint clues of any image meltdown or communication fracas whatsoever. This makes me ponder; perhaps the idea to study Siti Nurhaliza isn’t that enriching from rhetorical point of view. I cannot let my fanaticism towards her jeopardizing my doctoral degree research, no?
I discussed with Prof Abdul Muati and he said the choice is entirely mine. I recalled that he told me once when I were to pick for a topic, do not simply pick by using the lenses of my own eyes; be critical by using the lenses of other people’s eyes. After much deliberation, I feel I need to ditch my aspiration to study Siti Nurhaliza.
Strategies proposed by Benoit in his Image Restoration Theory.
What excites me (I am such a geeky and nerdy Kiasu!) is that my supervisor proposed a research that is interesting but using the theory which I already have the basic familiarization as I used it in my Master’s Degree mini thesis “Malaysian Moslems’ Perception Towards Cadbury’s Image Repair & Its Halal Image” (REFER to https://undomiel84.wordpress.com/2015/12/09/my-research-pappepeeeer-presentation-chapter-4-5-bridging-the-knowledge-gaps-of-halal-polemics-in-surburbia-serendah-benoits-image-restoration-theory-malaysian-moslems-perception-towards-ca/) which is “Benoit’s Image Restoration Theory”! It is a controversial issue BUT it is sure interesting see it from the angle of image restoration and rhetoric!
Remember the infamous case where Lewinsky performed a fellatio (what a ‘cultured’ terminology!) to Mr. President? Well, he denied and then…. impeached? But almost 20 years now it all seem as if forgotten and her Mrs is running for presidency! Oops, where is Lewinsky? The power of Image Restoration & Persuasive Communication!
I am excited and when I am excited; I can’t wait to write in my blog and that is what I am doing – despite the blog has become quite deserted these days. But of course, I will not forget to transcribe my Ph.D journey just like what I did for my Master’s Degree journey (REFER to the category https://undomiel84.wordpress.com/category/master-of-mass-comm/) – it is more for my own reflection! God bless! (,”)