Spirits of Resistance and Capitalist Discipline, Second Edition: Factory Women in Malaysia / Edition 2

Hardcover (Print)


In the two decades since its original publication, Spirits of Resistance and Capitalist Discipline has become an ethnographic classic in the fields of anthropology, labor studies, and gender and globalization studies. Based on anthropological field work in an agricultural district in Selangor, Peninsular Malaysia, Spirits of Resistance captures a moment of profound transformation, illustrated by the disruptions, conflicts, and ambivalences in the lives of Malay women during the rapid industrialization associated with Malaysia's rise as a tiger economy. Aihwa Ong's nuanced approach to the Malay women factory workers' experiences of the contradictions of modern globalized capitalism has inspired subsequent generations of feminist ethnographers in their explorations of key questions of power, resistance, femininities, religious community, and social change. With a new critical introduction by anthropologist Carla Freeman, this new edition of Spirits of Resistance continues to offer an exemplary model of sophisticated analysis of culturally based resistance to the ideology, surveillance, and institutional authority of globalized corporate capitalism.

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What People Are Saying

Carla Freeman

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)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781438433554
  • Publisher: State University of New York Press
  • Publication date: 9/3/2010
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 294
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet 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.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations ix

Preface xi

Introduction Carla Freeman xv

List of Abbreviations xxi

Part I Capitalist Development and Cultural Experience

1 Spirits and Discipline in Capitalist Transformation 1

2 Malay Peasants from Subsistence to Commodity Production 11

Part II The Kampung Society of Coastal Selangor

3 Tropical Confluences: Rural Society, Capital, and the State 37

4 Sungai Jawa: Differentiation and Dispersal 57

5 Domestic Relations: The Reconfiguration of Family Life 85

6 Marriage Strategies: Negotiating the Future 115

Part III Neophyte Factory Women in Late Capitalism

7 The Modern Corporation: Manufacturing Gender Hierarchy 141

8 Neophyte Factory Women and the Negative Image 179

9 Spirits of Resistance 195

10 Conclusion 215

Notes 223

Glossary 239

Bibliography 245

Index 259

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