Proper Islamic Consumption: Shopping Among the Malays in Modern Malaysia

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by Johan Fischer

Examining the powerful linkages between class, consumption, market relations, Islam and the state in contemporary Malaysia, this is the first book to explore how Malaysia’s emerging Malay middle class is constituted through consumer practices and Islamic revivalism. By exploring consumption practices in urban Malaysia, Proper Islamic Consumption shows how diverse forms of Malay middle-class consumption (of food, clothing and cars, for example) are understood, practised and contested as a particular mode of modern Islamic practice. It illustrates ways in which the issue of 'proper Islamic consumption’ for consumers, the marketplace and the state in contemporary Malaysia evokes a whole range of contradictory Islamic visions, lifestyles and debates articulating what Islam is or ought to be.

"This is a path-breaking work … [an] incredibly rich and finely textured ethnography." – Shamsul A. B., Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia

"Fischer’s description of religious consumerism in Malaysia demonstrates that no study of Muslim revivalism today can have any salience without considering its intimate relations with global capitalism." – Faisal Devji, The New School for Social Research, author of Landscapes of the Jihad 

"Johan Fischer reveals here the cross-currents of Malaysia’s ambitious experiment in Islamic national capitalism. … a heady mixture of patriotic shopping, ethnic politics and religious morality whose implications have global significance." – Keith Hart, Goldsmiths College, University of London

Johan Fischer is Associate Professor in the Department of Society and Globalisation, Roskilde University, Denmark. His work focuses on modern Islam and consumer culture in Southeast Asia and Europe. A central focus in Johan’s research is the theoretical and empirical focus on the proliferation of halal commodities on a global scale. 

Publication year: 2009
280 pp / 229mm x 152mm
29 b/w figures
ISBN: 978-87-7694-032-4, Paperback
ISBN: 978-87-7694-031-7, Hardback

NIAS Press