Spirits of Resistance and Capitalist Discipline: Factory Women in Malaysia

Spirits of Resistance and Capitalist Discipline: Factory Women in Malaysia

Aihwa Ong

Language: English

Pages: 297


Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

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

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households, over 60 percent of the total work activities are spent in wage earning, whereas among the landrich, only 29 percent of their daily work time falls within that category. Women in landless households alone account for more labor time in wage employment than the combined rate of man and women in rich households. Household location in relation to village resources also influences the kind of wage employment household members can participate in. Among the landless, women tend to spend more

In recent years, villagers claim a decline in the influence of spirits because the clearing of bushes and widening of kampung paths (by “development” projects) have “spiritually cleansed” their community. Besides, the intelligentsia’s reinterpretations of Islam have cast shame on spirit-beliefs and the bomoh. In any case, such ideas remain powerful in the social monitoring of young virgins. Fearful (takut) of strangers and unfamiliar surroundings, young girls are socialized to accept the moral

strategies within the expanded arena raise the following questions: a. Where are spaces for maneuver opening up? b. What are the stakes for the contenders? c. What kinds of tactics for negotiation and interruption come into play? d. What are the varied cultural forms which ensue in the marriage market? In addition, although customary institutions and family interests constitute structuring forces in matrimony matters, nubile women and men are increasingly individuated in their perceptions,

Early in March, Safuah did not come home for four days, causing her parents great anxiety. When she returned, she said that her “boyfriend” had taken her to Tanjong Karang to meet his mother, who was led to believe that they were already man and wife. Safuah had used up her savings of M$50 on bus fares and on fruits for the old lady. She did not enjoy her stay because she feared the woman and did not have enough to eat. Her parents, considering her “one screw loose” (“three-cornered,” in the

becomes a challenge to the local ideology of male protection: what are the changed perceptions of fathers, brothers, and “boyfriends” (a new category) to the working girl-woman no longer accommodated Spirits and Discipline in Capitalist Transformation 9 under a unified concept of “maiden”? How do factory women handle the contradictory experiences of economic autonomy from kinsmen and political coerion by men in the corporation and the wider society? Are the hantu hallucinations a residual

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