By Andrew C. Willford

ISBN-10: 047206956X

ISBN-13: 9780472069569

ISBN-10: 0472099566

ISBN-13: 9780472099566

Based on approximately 3 years of ethnographic fieldwork within the little-studied Malaysian Tamil neighborhood, this publication captures the demanding situations and dilemmas dealing with an ethnic and non secular minority within the context of state-driven ethnic and non secular nationalism. A resurgence of Tamil Hindu spiritual perform is analyzed inside modern Malaysia in mild of a state-driven ideology of modernist Islam. Bringing jointly distinct and infrequently own ethnographic bills of Tamil private and non-private rituals throughout a vast spectrum of sophistication and standing, the modern dynamics of ethnic politics and family members in Malaysia is known via a number of old and political fiscal forces within the postcolonial interval. In doing so, Andrew C. Willford indicates how modern Tamil Hindu subjectivity in Malaysia has a different old trajectory, and argues that the determine of the “Indian” (Tamil) is without doubt one of the lacking keys in realizing a broader development of ethnic kinfolk and nationalism during this nation. the result's an intimate portrait of the anxieties and needs of a diasporic community.

"Andrew Willford's Cage of Freedom provides us a provocative examine the compulsive and eruptive dimensions of ethno-religious and ethno-nationalist id within the Tamil enclaves of latest Malaysia. Drawing from psychoanalytic and phenomenological methods, Willford brings us head to head with 'the nation’s spirit' and 'the ethnic uncanny,' the aggravating dual apparitions that cloak the foundational vacancy of id. This publication reminds us that ethno-nationalist identification and beliefs have a haunting mental force."
—Kenneth M. George, Editor of Journal of Asian Studies, and Professor and Chair, division of Anthropology, college of Wisconsin-Madison
"Cage of Freedom is a very strong, uncommonly wealthy ethnography of the Tamil neighborhood in Malaysia, top-of-the-line ever ethnographies of this region ever written, dependent in thorough box examine and obviously trained by means of an attentive ear and an astute observational cognizance. We study a lot concerning the lives and reports, the hopes and fantasies of person Tamils . . . This booklet is an exemplary act of anthropological integrity; its insistence on interpreting, on interrogating the conclusions and perceptions that area people have approximately themselves is all too infrequent in anthropology at the present time. Willford could train scholars, once more, that the venture of anthropology is a serious one, a relentlessly wondering one."
—Rosalind C. Morris, Professor of Anthropology and affiliate Director for the heart for Comparative Literature and Society, Columbia University

 "An ethnographically wealthy and theoretically refined booklet, supplying a posh research of the forces underlying non secular revival one of the Tamil and extra commonly 'Indian' inhabitants of Malaysia. Willford makes a speciality of an unstudied challenge: the extraordinary drawback confronted via diasporic Indians in Southeast Asia. This creative learn stands to make a considerable contribution to considering throughout various scholarly fields."
—Danilyn Rutherford, division of Anthropology, college of Chicago
Andrew C. Willford is affiliate Professor of Anthropology and Asian reviews at Cornell University.

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Extra info for Cage of Freedom: Tamil Identity and the Ethnic Fetish in Malaysia

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Therefore, in neither formulation should “Asian”(-)American be read as identical to Asian. The hyphen in coupling Asian with American indicates an uneven history and set of power relations in which the mutual constructedness of Asia and America is foregrounded. Questioning the construction of both terms also complicates an idea of what it means to claim membership and citizenship in either. Finally, functioning as a hinge, the hyphen in Asian-American studies allows us to forge political alliances and links with other locales that are too mutually involved in similar contestations.

Imperialism, British colonialism, and global capitalism. Summary of Chapters In the next chapter, “Between Hollywood and Bollywood “on the political economy of South Asian diasporic cinema, I outline the sociohistorical and economic context for the formation and development of South Asian diasporic cinema in the Brown Atlantic and provide a detailed overview of the emergence of particular films and filmmakers. Recognizing this interstitial location between larger, more established cinemas such as Hollywood, Bollywood, Third World, and specific national “art” cinemas, I explore in this chapter the political, economic, and social contexts that enable and disable the emergence and development of South Asian diasporic films.

Prior to the incidents of 9/11, South Asians in Canada, the United States, and Britain shared fewer racial processes. In this case, state responses have been similar in the Brown Atlantic, resulting in racial formations that are increasingly congruent and comparable. S. -initiated wars (waged on two fronts—”against terrorism” and members of the “axis of exil”) have created a sociopolitical environment that not only infringes on rights and citizenship through proliferating racialized discourses in the national culture but also initiates a new regime of imperialist domination by the United States and its allies on non-Western nation-states and peoples.

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Cage of Freedom: Tamil Identity and the Ethnic Fetish in Malaysia by Andrew C. Willford

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