Cage Of Freedom: Tamil Identity And The Ethnic Fetish In Malaysia

Based on nearly three years of ethnographic fieldwork in the little-studied Malaysian Tamil community, this book captures the challenges and dilemmas facing an ethnic and religious minority in the context of state-driven ethnic and religious nationalism. A resurgence of Tamil Hindu religious practice is analyzed within contemporary Malaysia in light of a state-driven ideology of modernist Islam. Bringing together detailed and sometimes personal ethnographic accounts of Tamil public and private rituals across a broad spectrum of class and status, the contemporary dynamics of ethnic politics and relations in Malaysia is understood through various historical and political economic forces in the postcolonial period. In doing so, Andrew C. Willford shows how contemporary Tamil Hindu subjectivity in Malaysia has a distinct historical trajectory, and argues that the figure of the “Indian” (Tamil) is one of the missing keys in understanding a broader pattern of ethnic relations and nationalism in this country. The result is an intimate portrait of the anxieties and desires of a diasporic community.

RM60.00

2 in stock

Description

Based on nearly three years of ethnographic fieldwork in the little-studied Malaysian Tamil community, this book captures the challenges and dilemmas facing an ethnic and religious minority in the context of state-driven ethnic and religious nationalism. A resurgence of Tamil Hindu religious practice is analyzed within contemporary Malaysia in light of a state-driven ideology of modernist Islam. Bringing together detailed and sometimes personal ethnographic accounts of Tamil public and private rituals across a broad spectrum of class and status, the contemporary dynamics of ethnic politics and relations in Malaysia is understood through various historical and political economic forces in the postcolonial period. In doing so, Andrew C. Willford shows how contemporary Tamil Hindu subjectivity in Malaysia has a distinct historical trajectory, and argues that the figure of the “Indian” (Tamil) is one of the missing keys in understanding a broader pattern of ethnic relations and nationalism in this country. The result is an intimate portrait of the anxieties and desires of a diasporic community.

 

Publisher: University Of Michigan Press

Paperback

2006

ISBN: 9789971693916