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Title: Economic development and social stratification : occupational change and class structure in peninsular Malaysia under the New Economic Policy
Author: Ahmad, S. B. K.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 1997
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The focus of this thesis is to examine the structure of inequality in Malaysian society. It begins with a class based approach by measuring the class structure for peninsular Malaysia between 1970 and 1990. This time frame is considered crucial in the history of Malaysia's economic progress. It is during this period that Malaysia's New Economic Policy (NEP) was implemented. The NEP aimed to promote rapid economic growth while attempting to correct ethnic imbalance between the Malays and the Chinese in particular, by propagating a policy of positive discrimination in favour of the Malays. This makes the issue of class inequality more complicated and calls forth an examination of the interplay between class and ethnicity in the structuring of inequality. Gender inequality, another issue central in the debate on class and stratification is also brought in. Inequality in this case is defined in terms of access to economic resources which in turn determine the income and social status of individuals. The class structure derived, therefore, represents the distribution of individuals based on differential access to available economic resources. Considering that the majority of Malaysians are wage earners, the class structure is measured using occupational position as a starting point. Employment status, education, job characteristics and definitions are then taken into account. Other supporting evidence is included wherever necessary. Such an approach is arguably not flawless. Nevertheless, given the limitations confronting this study, it has to consider a framework which derives a measure of inequality which incorporates some of the common criteria identified in economic as well as sociological theories in the analysis of social stratification. This framework draws upon the vast theoretical and empirical literature developed in Malaysia and in the West, especially in Britain and the United States. It is premised to some extent on the Marxist and Weberian conception of social classes and guided by the empirical methods used by Goldthorpe for Britain and Wright for the United States.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available