This is the first ethnographical work on Malaysia written in the Spanish-speaking world, and one of the few contributions to the study of the culture and economy of Southeast Asia made in Spain. It contributes to the understanding of the process of underdevelopment and the interconnection between policy and economy in a context of unequal, highly competitive, ethnic and intra-ethnic relationships. The book makes the following academic contributions: first, it delivers a detailed and well-crafted ethnography, thoroughly grounded in ethno-history and economic anthropology, displaying an outstanding overview of the classical anthropological fields (religion, culture, economy, and society). Second, the author writes a forceful critique to development rhetoric and practices, ingeniously showing the complexities and paradoxes of affirmative policies within multicultural contexts, which might be of broad interest to those studying other multicultural societies.
Third, through a rich ethnographic approach the book delivers an exhaustive analysis of the fishing economy, particularly focusing on the way local economy is increasingly driven by external forces in a context of global market economy. The author explains how small local economic systems have been marginalized in the process of economic development in the modern Malaysian state, and argues effectively that this marginalization and impoverishment is neither inevitable nor sustainable.
Publisher: The Edwin Mellen Press Ltd