Rethinking Community in Myanmar: Practices of We-Formation among Muslims and Hindus in Urban Yangon

Paperback: $28.00
ISBN-13: 9780824898069
Published: March 2024

Additional Information

328 pages
  • About the Book
  • In this first anthropological study of Muslim and Hindu lives in urban Myanmar today, Judith Beyer develops the concept of “we-formation” to demonstrate that individuals are always more than members of wider groups. “We-formation” complements her rich political, legal, and historical analysis of “community,” a term used by Beyer’s interlocutors themselves, even as it reinforces ethno-religious stereotypes and their own minority status. The book also offers an interpretation of the dynamics of resistance to the attempted military coup of 2021.

  • About the Author(s)
    • Judith Beyer, Author

      Judith Beyer is professor of social and political anthropology at the University of Konstanz.
  • Reviews and Endorsements
    • Beyer’s book and her fascinating fieldwork in the varied groups of Indian descent in Rangoon, reshapes not just how we understand people who have long been dismissively homogenized in Burmese and academic discourse, but it offers insightful reformulations of how people construct identity unlimited by the categories imposed upon them.
      —Alice Turner, York University
    • Judith Beyer’s impressive ethnographic account of Muslims and Hindus in Yangon invites us to consider the dialectic between everyday experiences of co-existence and categorical claims of community without collapsing the distinctions between these practices. This monograph introduces a valuable theoretical framework for delving into the formation of we-ness without assuming that this is inevitably conjoined with processes of othering. I expect that concepts like ‘we-formation’ will quickly be adopted by scholars in a variety of fields.
      —Vered Amit, Concordia University
    • Judith Beyer’s brilliant ethnography of ‘practices of we-formation’ among Muslims and Hindus in urban Yangon compellingly demonstrates that neither the individual nor the community is sui generis; each is a condition of the possibility of the other. Beyer’s in-depth fieldwork, vivid writing, and theoretical insights make this book a stunning contribution to existential anthropology.
      —Michael Jackson, Harvard Divinity School