Studying the Role of Muslim Southeast Asia in Global Religious Markets: Multisited Ethnography in a Globalised World

Johan Fischer*

*Corresponding author

Publikation: Bidrag til bog/antologi/rapportBidrag til bog/antologiForskningpeer review


This chapter explores epistemological approaches to over two decades of research on the role of Muslim Southeast Asia in global religious markets. Methodologically, I discuss two interlinked approaches to studying Muslim markets and halal (literally ‘permissible’ or ‘lawful’) commodities and services in Malaysia in particular: globalisation and networks. Drawing from George Marcus’s seminal article ‘Ethnography in/of the world system: The emergence of multi-sited ethnography’ (1995), I follow ‘the people’ (bureaucrats, representatives from halal-certifying bodies, scientists, activists, company representatives and consumers); ‘the thing’ (the circulation of halal commodities as manifestly material objects of study); as well as ‘the metaphor’ (halal embedded in particular realms of classification, discourse and modes of thought). I argue that focusing on the epistemological aspects of religious markets in Malaysia reveals not only why and how these markets became globalised and ‘networked’ but also why and how Southeast Asia’s arrival on the global stage from the mid-1990s onwards increasingly informed my research.

TitelAsia in Transition : Changing Research Styles in Southeast Asia
RedaktørerJérémy Jammes, Victor T. King
Antal sider14
ISBN (Trykt)978-981-16-2437-7
StatusUdgivet - 2021
NavnAsia in Transition


  • Field research
  • Globalisation
  • Halal
  • Islam
  • Malaysia
  • Markets
  • Networks

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