Palgrave Macmillan Studies on Human Rights in Asia
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Ghost Lives of the Pendatang

Informality and Cosmopolitan Contaminations in Urban Malaysia

Authors: Muniandy, Parthiban

  • An ethnographic study of migrants and refugees living in global cities of Southeast Asia
  • Provides insights into lives of displaced Asian communities living under the shadow of globalization
  • Focuses also on the Rohingya community, and sex workers in Malaysia
  • Includes reflections on subaltern migrant cosmopolitanism in in Kuala Lumpur and Georgetown, Penang
  • Delves into the intersections of urban informality and lives of the displaced seen through narratives and stories
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eBook 71,68 €
price for Germany (gross)
  • The eBook version of this title will be available soon
  • Due: 19. April 2021
  • ISBN 978-981-336-200-0
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format:
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
Hardcover 90,94 €
price for Germany (gross)
About this book

This book is an ethnographic study of migrants, refugees and ‘temporary’ people in Malaysia,  incorporating narratives, personal stories, and observations of everyday life in Kuala Lumpur and Georgetown, Penang. Rather than focusing on specific migrant communities or refugee ‘camps’, the book takes subaltern cosmopolitanism as its central lens to look at how different and diverse communities of non-citizen ‘pendatang’ (aliens) co-habit, work and live together in Malaysia. Urban centers in Malaysia offer the space for informality that allow stateless and undocumented people to seek out opportunities, while also finding ways to assimilate or even ‘disappear’ into the fabric of society. The book focuses on the notion of ‘contaminations’, rather than migration or migrants, to underscore one of the most important findings of the ethnographic study – that migrant life in Malaysia is critically integral, embedded and interwoven into the everyday life in the city - shaping and affecting all aspects of daily life from production and supply chains, food service networks, cultural and religious practices, waste and recycling work, to more intimate and private contexts such as romantic relationships, family life and sex-work. Hybridity, inter-mixing and bastardization are part and parcel of everyday urbanism in KL and Penang – these ‘contaminating elements’ challenge and disrupt categories of the ‘national’ and categories such as insider/outsider, national purity, and politically constructed divisions between ethnic and racial groups. The book thus relies upon detailed ethnographic narratives curated over a decade of study, offering students interested in fieldwork research insights into the types of engagements and commitments necessary for helping build the complex, uneasy and destabilizing knowledge that characterizes critical ethnography. 

About the authors

Parthiban Muniandy is a full-time faculty in Sociology and Faculty Director at Sarah Lawrence College for the Consortium on Forced Migration, Displacement and Education, an initiative funded by the Mellon foundation. His areas of teaching and research expertise are in transnational migration & border studies, research methods, urban studies, and refugee studies. His first book, Politics of the Temporary: Ethnography of Migrant Life in Urban Malaysia, was published in 2014.

Buy this book

eBook 71,68 €
price for Germany (gross)
  • The eBook version of this title will be available soon
  • Due: 19. April 2021
  • ISBN 978-981-336-200-0
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format:
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
Hardcover 90,94 €
price for Germany (gross)

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Ghost Lives of the Pendatang
Book Subtitle
Informality and Cosmopolitan Contaminations in Urban Malaysia
Authors
Series Title
Palgrave Macmillan Studies on Human Rights in Asia
Copyright
2021
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd.
eBook ISBN
978-981-336-200-0
DOI
10.1007/978-981-33-6200-0
Hardcover ISBN
978-981-336-199-7
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XI, 177
Number of Illustrations
1 b/w illustrations
Topics