Migration and Diasporas
In light of the resurgence of the ear, the scarcity of ethnographic accounts has fulfilled by the sound studies that fuses the “textual” limitation and the problems on “visualism” in anthropological research. In this sense, hearing is how people relate to each other for making up the community/imagine community as well as the exclusion through the sonic conscience.
In this article, I investigate the friction between the public hearing and noise in Malaysia in the two contexts; first, the economic and political modernisation that’s recognised as the version of modern Islamic nationalism and second, the global flows of labour. With the echoing from Schafer’s Schizophonia, I found that Malaysia attempt to align Islam more closely with the Muslim majority. The sermon audition and Azan – a call for praying has been identified as essential to cultivating the citizenry of willing listeners and representing the nation by the electronically reproduced sound. On the other hand, as a place of foreign workers, Malaysia has the various sound that rise up along the road of national development, especially the sound from a construction site surrounded the urban space. This acoustic sound is excluded as noise by the public recognition and has embodied the foreign workers as the outsider.
The significance in this study is the ways of hearing the politics in the making sense of nation through sound, whereas the noise has become the alien even though its origin or the foreign workers are the sources of nation-building.