Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/15514
Title: Class, Culture and Practice in the Tanjung Tualang Sikh Settlement: A Study in Critical Ontology
Authors: CHARANPAL SINGH BAL
Keywords: Class, Culture, Resistance, Economic Anthropology, Kinta Valley, Labour
Issue Date: 14-Nov-2006
Source: CHARANPAL SINGH BAL (2006-11-14). Class, Culture and Practice in the Tanjung Tualang Sikh Settlement: A Study in Critical Ontology. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: In attempting to understand the role subordinate classes play in the reproduction and transformation of their own subordination, culture becomes a salient consideration given that it is only through a level of symbolic mediation that human beings act in their natural and social worlds. The role culture plays in the reproduction/transformation of class subordination has historically been the subject of much debate within social science. In the general literature, when culture is not discounted or ignored, it is either understood as the ideological means by which the subordinate classes are incorporated into the dominant world view or as supplying the building blocks of overt or covert resistance movements. However, a large proportion of the literature is based on particular Western European experiences which limit the universitality of its claims. While there has been a great deal of work done on class subordination in Southeast Asia, for instance, the role of culture in the everyday reproduction of class has not been carefully enough evaluated.The Tanjung Tualang Sikh Settlement provides an interesting case study to understand this process. Members of the community, with roots in the free peasantry in the Punjab, migrated to British Malaya between the 1930s and the 1950s. They have not only worked as mine labourers till the 1980s, but have also reared livestock such as cows, goats and buffaloes. Despite a huge population outflow from the village to urban areas from the late 1960s, a large number of villagers continue to remain in Tanjung Tualang despite better job opportunities elsewhere. Furthermore, there is also a strong sense of work morality within the village which seems to induce young men into waged labour today.If such a case bears little resemblance to Western European historical trajectories, the trajectory of the former needs to be explained both historically and ethnographically. Using both types of data, I attempt to construct subordination to waged labour as a necessary everyday life accomplishment in the community. By demonstrating how the community has historically responded, at various times and in various circumstances, to being plugged into a capitalist system, I argue that there is a fine line between a??resistancea?? and a??conformitya??. It is only through an ethnographic account, like the one presented here, that the nuances of class conflict can be illustrated and understood.
URI: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/15514
Appears in Collections:Master's Theses (Open)

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2 - Acknowledgments.pdf14.11 kBAdobe PDF

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3 - Table of Contents.pdf19.18 kBAdobe PDF

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4 - Summary.pdf11.71 kBAdobe PDF

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5 - chpt 1 - edited.pdf57.87 kBAdobe PDF

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6 - chpt 2 - edited.pdf85.91 kBAdobe PDF

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7 - chpt 3 - edited.pdf121.94 kBAdobe PDF

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9 - chpt 5 - edited.pdf133.52 kBAdobe PDF

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10 - chpt 6 - edited.pdf42.39 kBAdobe PDF

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11 - Bibliography - alpahabetical.pdf35.04 kBAdobe PDF

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12 - appendix A - maps.pdf436.29 kBAdobe PDF

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13 - appendix B - doccuments.pdf710.77 kBAdobe PDF

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14 - appendix c - fotographs.pdf1.82 MBAdobe PDF

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