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.
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