How to disappear completely: Conversation with a permanent migrant

What follows is a slightly edited transcript of a conversation with a migrant worker from Indonesia whom I have known for some time. Personal details have been omitted for privacy. Fluid borders My hometown? Surabaya.  Going through immigration is easy. It costs about RM250 to 300 per person. After paying, you just go to KLIA …

Through the looking glass: Viewpoints in ethnography

Ethnography as a methodology is primarily interested in studying people's behaviour in everyday contexts, rather than under experimental, replicable conditions created by the researcher (Hammersley, 1990). The focus is generally limited to a small setting or group of people, but data is collected from various sources. The ethnographer generally divides his process into two stages: …

Branding Southeast Asia

With tourism emerging as a major source of revenue for many Southeast Asian nations, there is strong pressure for the state to be directly involved in its development. Governments are eager to identify and develop culture as an income-generating product to both increase its appeal to tourists and to offer alternate sources of income in primarily rural areas. If urban areas are characterised as metropolitan with a hybrid of cultures, then rural areas offer a safe haven for ‘authentic’ cultural identity.