Spirits of Resistance and Capitalist Discipline, Second Edition: Factory Women in Malaysia

SUNY Press
Free sample

New edition of the classic ethnographic study of Malay women factory workers.

In the two decades since its original publication, Spirits of Resistance and Capitalist Discipline has become a classic in the fields of anthropology, labor, gender and globalization studies. Based on intensive fieldwork, the book captures a moment of profound transformation for rural Muslim women even as their labor helped launch Malaysia’s rise as a tiger economy. Aihwa Ong’s analysis of the disruptions, conflicts, and ambivalences that roiled the lives of working women has inspired later generations of feminist ethnographers in their study of power, resistance, religious upheavals, and subject formation in the industrial periphery. With a critical introduction by anthropologist Carla Freeman, this new edition upholds an exemplary model of anthropological inquiry into cultural modes of resistance to the ideology, discipline, and workings of global capitalism.

“This work … remains powerful for its refusal to over-simplify the complexities of export industrialization as a model for economic development, and for its demonstration of the intimate dialectics of culture, economy, gender, religion, and class, and the meaningfulness of place amid the swirling forces of global capitalism … [It] opened up many of the questions that should continue to inspire our analyses of globalization today. Indeed, these questions are equally compelling for the reader returning to this work after twenty years and for the reader new to this text and to the intriguing and complex puzzles of globalization.” — from the Introduction by Carla Freeman
Read more
Collapse

About the author

Aihwa Ong is Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley. Her many books include Flexible Citizenship: The Cultural Logics of Transnationality and Neoliberalism as Exception: Mutations in Citizenship and Sovereignty.
Read more
Collapse
Loading...

Additional Information

Publisher
SUNY Press
Read more
Collapse
Published on
Sep 1, 2010
Read more
Collapse
Pages
295
Read more
Collapse
ISBN
9781438433561
Read more
Collapse
Read more
Collapse
Read more
Collapse
Language
English
Read more
Collapse
Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
Read more
Collapse
Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
Read more
Collapse
Eligible for Family Library

Reading information

Smartphones and Tablets

Install the Google Play Books app for Android and iPad/iPhone. It syncs automatically with your account and allows you to read online or offline wherever you are.

Laptops and Computers

You can read books purchased on Google Play using your computer's web browser.

eReaders and other devices

To read on e-ink devices like the Sony eReader or Barnes & Noble Nook, you'll need to download a file and transfer it to your device. Please follow the detailed Help center instructions to transfer the files to supported eReaders.
Fleeing the murderous Pol Pot regime, Cambodian refugees arrive in America as at once the victims and the heroes of America's misadventures in Southeast Asia; and their encounters with American citizenship are contradictory as well. Service providers, bureaucrats, and employers exhort them to be self-reliant, individualistic, and free, even as the system and the culture constrain them within terms of ethnicity, race, and class. Buddha Is Hiding tells the story of Cambodian Americans experiencing American citizenship from the bottom-up. Based on extensive fieldwork in Oakland and San Francisco, the study puts a human face on how American institutions—of health, welfare, law, police, church, and industry—affect minority citizens as they negotiate American culture and re-interpret the American dream.

In her earlier book, Flexible Citizenship, anthropologist Aihwa Ong wrote of elite Asians shuttling across the Pacific. This parallel study tells the very different story of "the other Asians" whose route takes them from refugee camps to California's inner-city and high-tech enclaves. In Buddha Is Hiding we see these refugees becoming new citizen-subjects through a dual process of being-made and self-making, balancing religious salvation and entrepreneurial values as they endure and undermine, absorb and deflect conflicting lessons about welfare, work, medicine, gender, parenting, and mass culture. Trying to hold on to the values of family and home culture, Cambodian Americans nonetheless often feel that "Buddha is hiding." Tracing the entangled paths of poor and rich Asians in the American nation, Ong raises new questions about the form and meaning of citizenship in an era of globalization.
Neoliberalism is commonly viewed as an economic doctrine that seeks to limit the scope of government. Some consider it a form of predatory capitalism with adverse effects on the Global South. In this groundbreaking work, Aihwa Ong offers an alternative view of neoliberalism as an extraordinarily malleable technology of governing that is taken up in different ways by different regimes, be they authoritarian, democratic, or communist. Ong shows how East and Southeast Asian states are making exceptions to their usual practices of governing in order to position themselves to compete in the global economy. As she demonstrates, a variety of neoliberal strategies of governing are re-engineering political spaces and populations. Ong’s ethnographic case studies illuminate experiments and developments such as China’s creation of special market zones within its socialist economy; pro-capitalist Islam and women’s rights in Malaysia; Singapore’s repositioning as a hub of scientific expertise; and flexible labor and knowledge regimes that span the Pacific.

Ong traces how these and other neoliberal exceptions to business as usual are reconfiguring relationships between governing and the governed, power and knowledge, and sovereignty and territoriality. She argues that an interactive mode of citizenship is emerging, one that organizes people—and distributes rights and benefits to them—according to their marketable skills rather than according to their membership within nation-states. Those whose knowledge and skills are not assigned significant market value—such as migrant women working as domestic maids in many Asian cities—are denied citizenship. Nevertheless, Ong suggests that as the seam between sovereignty and citizenship is pried apart, a new space is emerging for NGOs to advocate for the human rights of those excluded by neoliberal measures of human worthiness.

©2019 GoogleSite Terms of ServicePrivacyDevelopersArtistsAbout Google|Location: United StatesLanguage: English (United States)
By purchasing this item, you are transacting with Google Payments and agreeing to the Google Payments Terms of Service and Privacy Notice.