1st Edition

Race and Multiculturalism in Malaysia and Singapore

    256 Pages 8 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    256 Pages 8 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

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    This book explores race and multiculturalism in Malaysia and Singapore from a range of different disciplinary perspectives, showing how race and multiculturalism are represented, how multiculturalism works out in practice, and how attitudes towards race and multiculturalism – and multicultural practices – have developed over time. Going beyond existing studies – which concentrate on the politics and public aspects of multiculturalism – this book burrows deeper into the cultural underpinnings of multicultural politics, relating the subject to the theoretical angles of cultural studies and post-colonial theory; and discussing a range of empirical examples (drawn from extensive original research, covering diverse practices such as films, weblogs, music subcultures, art, policy discourse, textbooks, novels, poetry) which demonstrate overall how the identity politics of race and intercultural interaction are being shaped today. It concentrates on two key Asian countries particularly noted for their relatively successful record in managing ethnic differences, at a time when many fast-developing Asian countries increasingly have to come to terms with cultural pluralism and migrant diversity.

    Introduction: Postcoloniality, Race and Multiculturalism - Daniel P.S. Goh and Philip Holden Part I: Postcolony and Cosmopolis 1. A literary history of race: reading Singapore literature in English in an historical frame - Philip Holden 2. Malaysian history textbooks and the discourse of ketuanan Melayu - Helen Ting 3. Eyes turned towards china: postcolonial mimicry, transcultural elitism and Singapore chineseness - Daniel P.S. Goh 4. Pick and mix for a global city: race and cosmopolitanism in Singapore - Angelia Poon 5. Makkal Sakti: The Hindraf Effect, Race and Postcolonial Democracy in Malaysia - Vijay Devadas Part II: Representing Race, Performing Multiculturalism 6. Reading the films of independent filmmaker Yasmin Ahmad: cosmopolitanism, Sufi Islam and Malay subjectivity - Gaik Cheng Khoo 7. Racial stereotypes in Singapore films: Commercial value and critical possibilities - Kenneth Paul Tan 8. The Singapore Indian woman: a symptom in the quest for Chinese Identity - Matilda Gabrielpillai 9. Deghettoizing subcultures: the multicultural evolution of Mat Rock in Singapore - Kelly Fu and Liew Kai Khuin 10. Bhangra and the reconstruction of ‘Punjabi-ness’ in Multiracial Singapore - Charanpal S. Bal 11. The art of race: rethinking Malaysian identity through the art of Wong Hoy Cheong - Michelle Antoinette Conclusion: Toward a critical multiculturalism - Daniel P.S. Goh.


    Daniel P. S. Goh is Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at the National University of Singapore.

    Matilda Gabrielpillai is Assistant Professor in Literature at the National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.

    Philip Holden is Associate Professor of English Literature at the National University of Singapore. His latest book is Autobiography and Decolonization: Modernity, Masculinity, and the Nation-State (2008).

    Gaik Cheng Khoo is a Lecturer in Gender, Sexuality and Culture at the Australian National University. She recently published Reclaiming Adat: Contemporary Malaysian Film and Literature (2006).