Transforming Brickfields: Development and Governance in a Malaysian City

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By Richard Baxstrom

Transforming Brickfields: Development and Governance in a Malaysian City is about the transformation of urban space and the reordering of the demographic character of Brickfields, one of the oldest neighborhoods in Kuala Lumpur. Baxstrom offers an ethnographic account of the complex attempts on the part of the state and the community to reconcile techno-rational conceptions of law, development, and city planning with local experiences of place, justice, relatedness, and possibilities for belief in an aggressively changing world. The book combines classic methods of anthropological research and an engagement with the work of theorists such as Gilles Deleuze and Henri Lefebvre, and it moves beyond previous studies of Southeast Asian cities by linking larger conceptual issues of ethics, belief, and experience to the concrete trajectories of everyday urban life in the region.


"A fine book, a good read, and a rare example of focused, Malaysian ethnography." - Ross King


Richard Baxstrom is Lecturer at the Department of Social Anthropology, University of Edinburgh. A member of Creative Capitalism, a Baltimore art collective, his photographic works have been shown in gallery exhibitions and published in several books.


Publication Year: 2009
304 pages, 229mm x 153mm
ISBN: 978-9971-69-494-4, Paperback

NUS Press