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Title: The evolution and perceptions of home economics in Malaysia
Author: Chew, Moy Hua
ISNI:       0000 0004 2745 4336
Awarding Body: Liverpool John Moores University
Current Institution: Liverpool John Moores University
Date of Award: 2011
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This study on the evolution of Home Economics has shown that the English Domestic Science framework was used as the foundation of the Malaysian Domestic Science. In addition, three phases of development on Home Economics took place in Malaysia, foundation, consolidation and expansion, were identified. Home Economics in Malaysia is identified as a multidisciplinary subject As for the impact of British colonisation, its effects have been far-reaching on the lives of those who had taken Home Economics. The findings from this study illustrate the esteem with which the subject was held. The legacy of the English influence on the Malaysian education policies and technology cannot be denied. Concerning the perceptions of Home Economics in Malaysia, the finding had shown that Home Economics in Malaysia is also perceived as a multidisciplinary subject Two distinctive orientations of Home Economics were elicited from the participants. The social orientation of Home Economics includes the basic knowledge and skills of cooking, sewing, budgeting, physical resource management, family relationships, human development, nutritional knowledge and the impact of technology. The diminishing of basic skills in cooking and sewing among the younger generation is the most obvious trend. So long as human beings exist, the three basic physiological needs: food, clothing and shelter will remain fundamental, so these must also underlie the social aspect of Home Economics. This must be taught to all at school level in order to educate the future generation to be a wholesome person intellectually, spiritually, emotionally and physically as stated in the Malaysian Educational Philosophy. However, the economic aspect of Home Economics, which includes technical/vocational Home Economics subjects in school, and vocational Home Economics programmes at extension level as well as at university, has the edge over the social aspect of Home Economics, because of the current government policy on mainstreaming Technical and Vocational Education. Moreover, the cognitive skills include critical thinking, problem solving and creativity, and affective skills such as relationship skills, active listening and negotiation skills, are embedded in each area of the content of Home Economics. Some undergraduates from university had suggested renaming, but retaining the name 'Home Economics' is the way forward for Malaysia because many countries had experienced that renaming would not solve the issue of status or identity. In terms of the public's perception on gender roles and gender stereotyping, there still exists the unequal power relationship attributed to Home Economics and women in the Malaysian context This patriarchal society still marginalises and categorises Home Economics and women both as powerless and trivialises their input into society. This is despite a refocusing of Home Economics in Malaysia, partly due to a move towards western values and the cultivation of career perspectives, whilst in essence the education system continues to propagate patriarchal ideology through the hidden curriculum, By analysing society through the feminist lens and beginning the process of employing the technique of consciousness raising within education, would help to empower women in Malaysia to challenge inequality and unequal power relationships that currently exist in Home Economics careers and for women in Malaysia society.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available