Johan Fischer - Proper Islamic Consumption: Shopping Among the Malays in Modern Malaysia
This is an excellent study both in substance and in conceptual refinement, opening up important perspectives on the particular mode of ‘Islamic modernity’ being achieved in Malaysia, and the dynamics of implanting globalised capitalist values within a major Muslim society. From 2001, Fischer did anthropological fieldwork into consumption patterns among Malay middle-class families at Taman Tun Dr Ismail (popularly known as ‘TTDI’), a major township in the western part of Kuala Lumpur. The book gives a refined presentation of research on consumption concerning issues of class, market relations and Islamic practice and identity, relating these to Islam-State relations in contemporary Malaysia. It could produce discomfort among many Muslims who might not appreciate or comprehend the portrait of Malaysian society reflected in the mirror of academic anthropology. Others with greater perception may experience the peculiar shock of self-recognition - similar to the experience of hearing one’s own recorded voice for the very first time - when they read of “middle-class Malays shopping for the state”.