Bangsa and Umma
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Having experienced a large-scale reorganization of social order over the past decade, people of the Malay world have struggled to position themselves. They have been classified - and have classified themselves - with categories as bangsa (nation/ethnic group) and umma (Islamic network). In connection with these key concepts, this study explores a variety of dimensions of these and other 'people-grouping' classifications, which also include Malayu, Jawi, and Paranakan. The book examines how these categories played a significant part in the colonial and post-colonial periods in areas ranging from Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines. It demonstrates the extent to which shifting social conditions interact with the contours of group identity. This is a collaborative work by scholars based in the US, Japan, Malaysia, and Australia.
Understanding the genealogy of people-grouping concepts provides valuable insight into the mechanics of power relations and how the agency of cultural identification constructs the continuity and the contentious in the political world. Pacific Affairs, Vol. 85, No. 4, December 2012.