Pacific Affairs, Vol. 85, Issue 4, December 2012

"Adopting an ethnographic approach of participant observation and careful analysis of social and cultural institutions and practices (such as art and consumption), Gerhard Hoffstaedter attempts to demonstrate that ethnic identity is not a static phenomenon, and that ethnic identification is a dynamic process that entails a complex interplay involving ideology, discourse, piety (or, as Hoff

"Adopting an ethnographic approach of participant observation and careful analysis of social and cultural institutions and practices (such as art and consumption), Gerhard Hoffstaedter attempts to demonstrate that ethnic identity is not a static phenomenon, and that ethnic identification is a dynamic process that entails a complex interplay involving ideology, discourse, piety (or, as Hoffstaedter calls it, “Islamicity”), social structure, and cultural norms. 

Hoffstaedter’s sound scholarship both reinforces these ideas and furthers this discussion by drawing attention to what he calls “systematic modes of exclusion” which he sees operating in Malaysia. For this and other reasons cited above, Modern Muslim Identities is a fine book that deserves a wide readership not only for those who are interested in Malaysia, but more broadly, those seeking a better understanding of the delicate interplay between ethnicity and religion."

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