the production of possession: spirits and the multinational corporation in Malaysia

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This essay explores different interpretations of spirit possession episodes in multi- national factories based in Malaysia. Drawing on fieldwork data and secondary sources, it deciphers the cryptic language of Malay spirit possession in relation to gender symbolism, social boundaries, and morality. This interpretation is con- trasted to the corporate view that, by using the cosmopolitan medical model, con- verts workers into patients. By presenting these divergent views of spirit possession in factory settings, the essay seeks to illuminate general questions regarding the connections among affliction, cultural experience, and hegemony in the process of social change.

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