Roy Thaniago

My advice to future students: understand the theoretical focus of the programme

The Lund university experience is ‘an ideal setup for being contemplative in the learning process’

Roy gives high praise to his experience of Lund as a city, and a university: ‘My Lund experience was just perfect and memorable. Both the uni and the town provided the environment that enabled me to explore my intellectual quest maximally. Coming from a busy and messy city like Jakarta, I found Lund brings tranquillity and peace, an ideal setup for being contemplative in the learning process. Moreover, the atmosphere and the facilities of the university were helpful to keep me being scholarly inspired and energized. When the programme ended in June 2017, I felt like this two-year experience was too short.’

Choosing the MSc Programme in Media and Communication
When asked why Roy chose the programme in Media and Communication studies, he says: ‘I’ve been working with media issues since 2010 and I was planning to improve my knowledge by taking a master degree in media and communication studies. I’ve read some works of Peter Dahlgren and Annette Hill before I found them teaching at Lund University. I, then, landed on the uni’s website to learn more about the programme through which my decision was made’.

Roy’s advice to future students: understand the theoretical focus of the programme
It’s important to understand the theoretical focus of the programme. According to Roy, some of his classmates were expecting more practical approaches, on things like media production. He says applicants should make sure to understand the programme profile before they apply and come to Lund, and that ‘understanding what you are going to face is the best way to enjoy, expect and benefit from your master programme’. He goes on to say: ‘Secondly, get to know your research interest as soon as possible, so you could work on it from the first semester. By having a focus, I believe, you will get more benefits, more knowledge, as the learning situation in Lund relies a lot on individual and independent processes. In the end, of course, you will be well prepared for doing the thesis.’

Roy’s thesis
Roy’s thesis focused on news media in Indonesia: ‘I wrote my thesis under the title “Disciplining Tionghoa: Critical Discourse Analysis of News Media During Indonesia’s New Order”. The thesis aimed to investigate how the identity of Chinese-Indonesia, who are also known as the Tionghoa, had been constructed during the military-dictatorship regime called the New Order. The thesis was motivated by my curiosity to grasp certain behaviours and attitudes of the Tionghoa, who reflects a specific way of life, which is characterized by the idea of a self-disciplinary body. This thesis, therefore, is an attempt to shed light on how and in what sense power produces the disciplined Tionghoa.

I analysed 134 news reports of two Indonesian news media, Kompas and Tempo, published in 1966, 1976, and 1986, to seek the discourses believed to contribute in the construction of the Tionghoa identity, aimed at disciplining. The concluded that the scheme of disciplining Tionghoa is performed by implanting the projection of the desired-self of Tionghoa through the discourse. Thus, being disciplined has become desirable for the Tionghoa themselves.’

Future career plans: in the intersection of academia and activism
Roy tells us that ‘I found myself enjoying work in the intersection of the fields of academia and activism. That’s why I plan to keep working on what I have been doing, and to get into a PhD programme within 2 years. Therefore, I see myself in the future working in academia, while at the same time being involved in organisations and movements seeking social change.’

Sidansvarig: michael.rubsamenkom.luse | 2020-06-15