Advanced

Social Mobilization of the Underdogs: The Damansara Save Our School Movement in Malaysia

Ang, Ming Chee LU (2012) In Pacific Affairs 85(2). p.313-333
Abstract
How are social movements of the underdogs sustained and how are constraints of these movements overcome, in particular, constraints imposed by non-liberal democratic states? Utilizing the Damansara Save Our School movement in Malaysia as its case study, this article describes factors that led to the successful resistance of the Damansara New Village community against the closure of its community school, the Damansara Chinese Primary School. Although inexperienced in social movement activities, small in size, financially and socially disadvantaged, the villagers of Damansara New Village successfully sustained their resistance for seven years and eventually procured compromises from the Malaysian authorities, which reopened the school... (More)
How are social movements of the underdogs sustained and how are constraints of these movements overcome, in particular, constraints imposed by non-liberal democratic states? Utilizing the Damansara Save Our School movement in Malaysia as its case study, this article describes factors that led to the successful resistance of the Damansara New Village community against the closure of its community school, the Damansara Chinese Primary School. Although inexperienced in social movement activities, small in size, financially and socially disadvantaged, the villagers of Damansara New Village successfully sustained their resistance for seven years and eventually procured compromises from the Malaysian authorities, which reopened the school premises in January 2009. Lacking access to democratic institutions in the country, the Damansara Save Our School movement relied on unconventional—yet highly institutionalised— resistance methods to mobilize support and engage in political contention. This article analyzes three components that had led to the movement’s successful endurance: institutionalization of the Save Our School Committee as the main mobilization machinery; formation of a temple school that sustained the functioning of the school, physically and symbolically; and dynamic adaptation of movement repertoires to overcome constraints imposed by the stronger and not so liberal state. For the movement community and supporters alike, the reopening of the school premises in 2009 attests to the miracle of everyday resistance by underdogs in surmounting unjust policies imposed by a powerful state. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
publishing date
type
Contribution to specialist publication or newspaper
publication status
published
subject
keywords
unconventional resistance, social movements, non-liberal democratic states, Malaysia, Chinese education, Chinese schools
categories
Popular Science
in
Pacific Affairs
volume
85
issue
2
pages
313 - 333
publisher
Pacific Affairs
external identifiers
  • scopus:84930483587
ISSN
1715-3379
DOI
10.5509/2012852313
language
English
LU publication?
no
id
c503fc64-8774-4874-bd15-3a148d8593bf (old id 4353924)
alternative location
http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/paaf/paaf/2012/00000085/00000002/art00003
date added to LUP
2014-03-18 15:52:12
date last changed
2017-01-01 06:00:13
@misc{c503fc64-8774-4874-bd15-3a148d8593bf,
  abstract     = {How are social movements of the underdogs sustained and how are constraints of these movements overcome, in particular, constraints imposed by non-liberal democratic states? Utilizing the Damansara Save Our School movement in Malaysia as its case study, this article describes factors that led to the successful resistance of the Damansara New Village community against the closure of its community school, the Damansara Chinese Primary School. Although inexperienced in social movement activities, small in size, financially and socially disadvantaged, the villagers of Damansara New Village successfully sustained their resistance for seven years and eventually procured compromises from the Malaysian authorities, which reopened the school premises in January 2009. Lacking access to democratic institutions in the country, the Damansara Save Our School movement relied on unconventional—yet highly institutionalised— resistance methods to mobilize support and engage in political contention. This article analyzes three components that had led to the movement’s successful endurance: institutionalization of the Save Our School Committee as the main mobilization machinery; formation of a temple school that sustained the functioning of the school, physically and symbolically; and dynamic adaptation of movement repertoires to overcome constraints imposed by the stronger and not so liberal state. For the movement community and supporters alike, the reopening of the school premises in 2009 attests to the miracle of everyday resistance by underdogs in surmounting unjust policies imposed by a powerful state.},
  author       = {Ang, Ming Chee},
  issn         = {1715-3379},
  keyword      = {unconventional resistance,social movements,non-liberal democratic states,Malaysia,Chinese education,Chinese schools},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {313--333},
  publisher    = {Pacific Affairs},
  series       = {Pacific Affairs},
  title        = {Social Mobilization of the Underdogs: The Damansara Save Our School Movement in Malaysia},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.5509/2012852313},
  volume       = {85},
  year         = {2012},
}