Exploring Middle-Class Malaysian Parents' Perceptions and Concerns About Children's Internet Usage

How to Cite

Kaur Hansaram, S. (2019). Exploring Middle-Class Malaysian Parents’ Perceptions and Concerns About Children’s Internet Usage. Stream: Interdisciplinary Journal of Communication, 11(1), 21–33. https://doi.org/10.21810/strm.v11i1.265


The growing number of children internet users are causing parents to worry. While there are many researches in the Global North, very few studies are done in the Global South. The study aims to bridge this gap with a study of Malaysia, a Global South country. Using a contextual approach, this research investigates middle-class Malaysian parents’ perceptions and concerns about their children’s internet usage. Qualitative in-depth interviews were conducted with seven parents, whose children – aged from five to eighteen – are active internet users. The analysis of the interviews revealed three major themes; firstly, parents make evaluative judgments about internet contents and platforms; secondly, children’s age determines use and device ownership; and thirdly, Malaysian parents used mediation strategies unique to Malaysia: they employ spies among their children and enlist help from older children. The analysis further revealed two generalized Malaysian parents’ fears about the internet: foreign culture influencing the dominant culture and apprehensions about new technologies.