Halal Things: Ontology and Ethics in the Malaysian Halal Ecosystem translation missing: zh.hyrax.visibility.files_restricted.text

Dolan, Sean (Summer 2019)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/hh63sx047?locale=zh
Published

Abstract

Malaysia is among the wealthiest Muslim-majority countries in the world. This affluence has resulted in shifts toward consumerism in Malaysian society and its increased entanglement in global commodity chains. The appearance of novel and unfamiliar products in Malaysian marketplaces, particularly industrially processed foods, has created conditions for transforming the category of halal—the category of things that according to Islamic law are permissible to use. Halal is especially salient for meat and other foods but is also applicable to a wide range of goods and behaviors. Based on seventeen months of ethnographic fieldwork in the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur, this project examines the various state agencies, commercial ventures, and research institutes that are involved in repositioning halal to increase its responsiveness to international markets. In this dissertation I contend that the category of halal is best understood as an assemblage—a constellation of contingently networked materials, practices, and discourses. By examining the social processes of bureaucratization, corporatization, and techno-scientific interventions that produce this assemblage, I show that it constitutes a social field in which people pursue socially meaningful projects (everything from choosing or, in some cases, avoiding halal certified products to pursuing careers within the halal industry). Reflection on the category of halal, then, brings together issues of ontology (the ways in which the category is constituted) and ethics (how people interact with the category). Through it we see how aspects of religious life are forged in a time of market proliferation and consumerism.

Table of Contents

1. Introductions: Realist Ontology, Assemblage, and Ethics.............................................. 1

Anthropology of Halal ................................................................................................... 7

Chicago’s Halal Scene and the Kuala Lumpur Halal Ecosystem.......................................... 19

Chicago Scene .............................................................................................................. 19

Kuala Lumpur’s Halal Ecosystem ................................................................................... 25

Ontology and Categories as Anthropological Problems .................................................... 28

Realism ........................................................................................................................ 28

Ontology ...................................................................................................................... 31

Assemblage .................................................................................................................. 39

Summing-up Realist Ontology and Assemblage .............................................................. 44

Ethics as an Anthropological Problem ............................................................................ 45

Summing-up Ontology and Ethics .................................................................................. 53

Kuala Lumpur and the Ethnography of Halal ................................................................... 54

The Organization of the Dissertation .............................................................................. 59

2. Contexts: Malaysian Developmentalism and Islamization ............................................. 62

Vignette 1: A Seminar .................................................................................................... 62

Vignette 2: A Malaysian Start-Up .................................................................................... 65

Regulation and Developmentalism .................................................................................. 69

Malaysian Islam Before 1969 ...........................................................................................70

Developmentalist Response ............................................................................................ 78

The Role of the Islamic Resurgence ................................................................................. 85

Summing-up Regulation and Standardization .................................................................. 97

Defining Halal ............................................................................................................... 98

Halal in the Quran and in Popular Religious Literature ..................................................... 101

Halal in Academic Literature .......................................................................................... 115

Summing-up Historical Background and Literatures About Halal ..................................... 120

Part 1: Ontology ........................................................................................................... 121

3. From Ritual to Bureaucracy ....................................................................................... 122

Marketization .............................................................................................................. 125

Ritual and Bureaucracy .................................................................................................130

Two Centers of Malaysia’s Halal Bureaucracy ................................................................ 142

HDC Interview with Aminah ........................................................................................ 145

HDC Interview with Nur Aini ....................................................................................... 148

Visiting JAKIM ........................................................................................................... 159

Reading the Standard .................................................................................................. 170

MABIMS and International Cooperation on Standards ................................................... 177

Summing-up Ritual and Bureaucracy in the Halal Ecosystem ......................................... 181

4. Halal Science, Halal Labs, and Halal Debacles: The Problem of Invisibility .................. 183

Science and Religion in Anthropological Perspective .................................................... 185

Halal Product Research Institute (IPPH) ....................................................................... 189

Summing-up the IPPH Interviews ................................................................................ 201

Unruliness and the Halal Laboratory ............................................................................ 203

Summing-up Halal Science and Halal Laboratories ....................................................... 209

5. Commercialization: Producing More Halal ............................................................... 211

Visiting Nestle .......................................................................................................... 214

Summing-up the Visit to Nestle ................................................................................. 218

The KasehDia Cluster ................................................................................................ 219

Summing-up Commercializing Halal .......................................................................... 225

Part 2: Ethics ............................................................................................................ 227

6. Halal Foodscapes ................................................................................................... 228

Degrees of Halal? ...................................................................................................... 229

Foodscapes and Halalscapes .......................................................................................234

Encountering Kuala Lumpur’s Foodscape ................................................................... 236

Signaling Halal and its Absence ................................................................................. 243

Navigating the Foodscape ......................................................................................... 271

Summing-up the Ethics of Halal Foodscapes .............................................................. 278

7. Forging Careers: Anthropology of Failure ................................................................ 280

Discontented Professionals ....................................................................................... 283

Ethics of Work ......................................................................................................... 284

HDC Unmoored ....................................................................................................... 286

KasehDia in Retreat ................................................................................................. 291

IHI and Disparate Halal Standards ............................................................................ 295

Work and Ethics ...................................................................................................... 299

Neoliberalism and Market Proliferation .................................................................... 300

8. Conclusion: Market Orientations and Ethical Consequences ................................... 303

Appendix: List of Acronyms ..................................................................................... 303

Bibliography ........................................................................................................... 318

Books and Articles................................................................................................... 318

Newspapers ............................................................................................................ 337

Websites................................................................................................................. 338

About this Dissertation

Rights statement
  • Permission granted by the author to include this thesis or dissertation in this repository. All rights reserved by the author. Please contact the author for information regarding the reproduction and use of this thesis or dissertation.
School
Department
Degree
Submission
Language
  • English
Research field
关键词
Committee Chair / Thesis Advisor
Committee Members
最新修改 No preview

Primary PDF

Supplemental Files