ISBN: 9788776940485

Submitting to God: Women and Islam in Urban Malaysia


Sylva Frisk

September 2009
275 pp, 15x23cm
For sale in Thailand only

In recent decades, Malaysia has been profoundly changed both by forces of globalization, modernization, and industrialization, and by a strong Islamization process. Some would argue that the situation of Malay women has worsened, but such a conclusion is challenged by this study of the everyday religious practice of pious women within Kuala Lumpur’s affluent, Malay middle class.

Here, women play an active part in the Islamization process not only by heightened personal religiosity but also by organizing and participating in public programs of religious education. By organizing new forms of collective ritual and assuming new public roles as religious teachers, these religiously educated women are transforming the traditionally male-dominated gendered space of the mosque and breaking men’s monopoly over positions of religious authority. Exploring this situation, the book challenges preconceptions of the nature of Islamization as well as current theories of female agency and power.

About the Author

Sylva Frisk is a lecturer at the School of Global Studies at Gothenburg University in Sweden, where she teaches social anthropology and Asian studies, and is Director of Studies for the university’s Master's Program in Global Studies. Her research interests include gender, religion, and globalization, with a particular focus on gender and Islam in Malaysia. She is currently involved in an interdisciplinary research project on the transformations of Islam and politics in Malaysia and Indonesia.

Related files


Malaysia | Islamization | women’s studies | anthropology | religious education | gendered space | female agency

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