The Primordial Modernity of Malay Nationality : Contemporary Identity in Malaysia and Singapore book cover
1st Edition

The Primordial Modernity of Malay Nationality
Contemporary Identity in Malaysia and Singapore

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after December 16, 2021
ISBN 9781032055831
December 16, 2021 Forthcoming by Routledge
208 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Humairah and Kamaludeen examine contemporary Malay national identity in Singapore and Malaysia through the lens of ‘primordial modernity’, taking on a comparative transnational perspective.

How do Malays in Singapore and Malaysia conceptualise and negotiate their ethnic identity vis-à-vis the state’s construction of Malay national identity? Humairah and Kamaludeen employ discourse analyses of both elite and mass texts that include newspaper editorials, school textbooks, political speeches, novels, movies, and letters in local newspapers. Extending current notions of Malay identity, the authors offer a comprehensive overview of Malay identity that takes into consideration both primordial dimensions and the more modern aspects such as their cosmopolitan sensibilities and their approach to social mobility.

A valuable resource for scholars of Southeast Asian culture and society, as well as Sociologists looking at wider issues of ethnic and national identity.

Table of Contents

Chapter1: Introduction

Chapter 2: Discourse Analysis, National Identity and Malay Texts

Chapter 3: Fragmented Cosmopolitanism

Chapter 4: Ethnoreligious Identity

Chapter 5: The Developed Citizens

Chapter 6: The Elites

Chapter 7: Conclusion



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Humairah Zainal is a Research Fellow on a joint appointment between Singapore General Hospital and Duke-NUS Medical School. She holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.

Kamaludeen Mohamed Nasir is an Associate Professor of Sociology at the School of Social Sciences at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.