Getting by: Class and State Formation Among Chinese in Malaysia (Paperback)

Getting by: Class and State Formation Among Chinese in Malaysia By Donald M. Nonini Cover Image
Email or call for price

Description


How do class, ethnicity, gender, and politics interact? In what ways do they constitute everyday life among ethnic minorities? In Getting By, Donald M. Nonini draws on three decades of research in the region of Penang state in northern West Malaysia, mainly in the city of Bukit Mertajam, to provide an ethnographic and historical account of the cultural politics of class conflict and state formation among Malaysians of Chinese descent. Countering triumphalist accounts of the capitalist Chinese diaspora in Southeast Asia, Nonini shows that the Chinese of Penang (as elsewhere) are riven by deep class divisions and that class issues and identities are omnipresent in everyday life. Nor are the common features of Chinese culture in Malaysia manifestations of some unchanging cultural essence. Rather, his long immersion in the city shows, they are the results of an interaction between Chinese-Malaysian practices in daily life and the processes of state formation--in particular, the ways in which Kuala Lumpur has defined different categories of citizens. Nonini's ethnography is based on semistructured interviews; participant observation of events, informal gatherings, and meetings; a commercial census; intensive reading of Chinese-language and English-language newspapers; the study of local Chinese-language sources; contemporary government archives; and numerous exchanges with residents.

About the Author


Donald M. Nonini is Professor of Anthropology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is the author of British Colonial Rule and the Resistance of the Malay Peasantry, 1900-1957, coauthor of Local Democracy Under Siege: Activism, Public Interests, and Private Politics, and editor most recently of A Companion to Urban Anthropology.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780801479083
ISBN-10: 0801479088
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Publication Date: August 11th, 2015
Pages: 360
Language: English