Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://hdl.handle.net/10356/159705
Title: Revisiting the wages of Burman-ness: contradictions of privilege in Myanmar
Authors: Campbell, Stephen 
Prasse-Freeman, Elliott
Keywords: Social sciences::Sociology
Issue Date: 2022
Source: Campbell, S. & Prasse-Freeman, E. (2022). Revisiting the wages of Burman-ness: contradictions of privilege in Myanmar. Journal of Contemporary Asia, 52(2), 175-199. https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00472336.2021.1962390
Journal: Journal of Contemporary Asia
Abstract: Myanmar’s much lauded but short-lived transition to a liberal capitalist order was marked by an upsurge in Islamophobia, anti-Muslim riots and the violent expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya into Bangladesh. Amid this conflagration, debates over ethnic inclusion, privilege and nationalism were prominent. Yet within these debates, even seemingly antagonistic positions incorporated the class-blindness characteristic of US liberal white privilege theory. In this article, we engage these debates by recalling an earlier radical theorisation of racial privilege that later liberal conceptions went on to displace. Taking capitalist class relations seriously, we argue that, for the poor Burman, ethnic privilege has been deeply ambiguous and ultimately harmful. Burman supremacy, in short, has served as ideological-material scaffolding for the enduring subjugation of the Burman proletariat itself. In order to elaborate our argument, we tell a critical history of Burman chauvinism in Myanmar–a history that reveals “Burman-ness” as a sign not simply of ethnic/racial privilege, but of class privilege as well.
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10356/159705
ISSN: 0047-2336
DOI: 10.1080/00472336.2021.1962390
Schools: School of Social Sciences 
Rights: © 2021 Journal of Contemporary Asia. All rights reserved.
Fulltext Permission: none
Fulltext Availability: No Fulltext
Appears in Collections:SSS Journal Articles

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