Caged in on the Outside: Moral Subjectivity, Selfhood, and Islam in Minangkabau, Indonesia (BOK)

Gregory M. Simon

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Caged in on the Outside is an intimate ethnographic exploration of the ways in which Minangkabau people understand human value. Minangkabau, an Islamic society in Indonesia that is also the largest matrilineal society in the world, has long fascinated anthropologists. Gregory Simon's book, based on extended ethno- graphic research in the small city of Bukittinggi, shines new light on Minangkabau social life by delving into people's interior lives, calling into question many assumptions about Southeast Asian values and the nature of Islamic practice.

Simon focuses on the tension between the values of social integration and individual autonomy--both of which are celebrated in this Islamic trading society. The book explores a series of ethnographic themes, each one illustrating a facet of?this tension and its management in contemporary Minangkabau society: the moral structure of the city and its economic life, the nature of Minangkabau ethnic identity, the etiquette of everyday interactions, conceptions of self and its boundaries, hidden spaces of personal identity, and engagements with Islamic traditions. Simon draws on interviews with Minangkabau men and women, demonstrating how individuals engage with cultural forms and refashion them in the process: forms of etiquette are transformed into a series of symbols tattooed on and then erased from a man's skin; a woman shares a poem expressing an identity rooted in what cannot be directly revealed; a man puzzles over his neglect of Islamic prayers that have the power to bring him happiness.

Applying the lessons of the Minangkabau case more broadly to debates on moral life and subjectivity, Simon makes the case that a deep understanding of moral conceptions and practices, including those of Islam, can never be reached simply by delineating their abstract logics or the public messages they send.

Produktfakta

Språk Engelsk Engelsk Innbinding Innbundet
Utgitt 2014 Forfatter Gregory M. Simon
Forlag
Turpin DEDS Orphans
ISBN 9780824838300
Antall sider 248 Dimensjoner 15,2cm x 22,9cm x 2,5cm
Vekt 590 gram Leverandør Bertram Trading Ltd
Emner og form Social & cultural anthropology, ethnography, Islamic studies