Contested Public Spheres

Female Activism and Identity Politics in Malaysia

  • Authors
  • Anna Spiegel

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages 1-15
  2. Introduction

    1. Anna Spiegel
      Pages 17-29
  3. Entering the World of NGOs

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 31-31
  4. Inside the World of NGOs: Constituting Female Counterpublics

  5. Negotiating the Public Sphere in Local and Translocal Settings

  6. Back Matter
    Pages 339-369

About this book


This ethnographic monograph deals with women’s organisations in an increasingly Islamised Malaysia and how they are fighting for women’s rights and gender equality. Departing from an in-depth description of the life-world of female activists, Anna Spiegel highlights the significance of the global negotiations of gender relations for identity politics, the articulation of the local and the global within translocally acting social movements and the significance of globalisation for female agency. The study discusses the role of counterpublics in the development of subversive identity constructions and the renegotiation of the normative bases of publicness in the gendered fields of dress, cultural belonging, epistemic culture and Islam. Bringing together the global and the local, this is a global ethnography in the truest sense.

This book is essential reading for researchers in the social sciences, in particular, cultural studies, subaltern studies, sociology, gender studies and Islamic studies. In addition, it is also of interest to scientists looking for new research methodologies in the study of globalisation.


Asien Gender Equality Gender identity Social Movement Social movements globalisation women's rights

Bibliographic information