A Case Study on Offline and Online Discourses on OAV

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Ofina, A.G.I. (2019). A Case Study on the Offline and Online Discourses on Overseas Absentee Voting (OAV) among Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in Singapore. Unpublished undergraduate thesis, University of the Philippines Diliman College of Mass Communication.

Overseas Absentee Voting (OAV) has been implemented since 2004, which means that OFWs have been given the privilege of participating in the Philippine national elections for at least a decade. Hence, government and non-government organizations have been reaching out to overseas Filipinos so they are represented in the elections. It is then important to look at the lenses of the absentee voters, and acquire further knowledge on their participation (or lack of) in the national elections. To flesh out this aim, the study then employed concepts from the Migration Discourse Approach and Community of Practice. Furthermore, the study sought to uncover discourses in the online sphere as well because of the continuous increase of OFW communities in social media, particularly on Facebook. With that, the Facebook Influence Model was also observed. Through analyzing twenty (20) focus interviews with OFWs in Singapore, various OAV-related content in six (6) Facebook groups and six (6) Facebook pages for OFWs in Singapore, as well as ten (10) OAV-related documents, the study found that most Filipinos in Singapore choose to stay out of the Philippine elections because of: (1) detachment from the Philippines, (2) fear of encountering debates and confrontations, and (3) lack of time to participate. However, those who do vote regularly showed their inclination to their formed groups and communities with other OFWs in the said country— being the primary reason for their decision to vote in the first place.

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