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Relationship between Online Interethnic Interactions on Interethnic Bridging Social Capital: A Study of Academic Staff in Malaysian Private Universities

Ng Miew Luan, Wan Puspa Melati Wan Halim and Ayesha Aqilah M Hafifi

Pertanika Journal of Social Science and Humanities, Volume 29, Issue 2, June 2021

DOI: https://doi.org/10.47836/pjssh.29.2.30

Keywords: Academic staff, bridging social capital, interethnic interaction, Malaysia, private university

Published on: 28 June 2021

For decades, the uniqueness of Malaysia’s multiethnic, multilingual, and multicultural characteristics have been the focus of thinkers and policymakers in their effort towards nation-building. Such effort has been complemented by the contribution of researchers who provide relevant data and findings. Though the area of interethnic relations and interactions in Malaysia has been well researched, there is a gap in the literature regarding online interethnic relations and its role in bridging social capital. Hence, this study examined the relationship between online interethnic interactions and bridging social capital as well as the moderating effect of ethnicity among academics in Malaysian private universities. Quantitative data was collected through online self-administered questionnaires with 118 respondents and analyzed using SmartPLs software. The findings revealed that online interethnic interactions were vital in bridging social capital between academic members in private universities. The predictors of online ethic interaction (β = 0.718, t = 15.158, f2 = 1.062) were found to have a positive relationship with bridging social capital. The R of 0.515 suggesting there is 51.5% of the variation in bridging social capital was explained by online ethnic interaction. However, there is no evidence of ethnicity as a mediating role in bridging social capital. The authors argued that the role of private universities in Malaysia as a catalyst towards nation-building should be recognized and leveraged.

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