by Kok-Thay ENG
Dissertation Director: Professor Alexander Hinton
This dissertation explores different forms of Cham identity in relation to this minority’s history, society and culture. It has three goals: first, to provide the most comprehensive overview of Cham history and social structure; second, to illustrate how Cham identities have changed through time; and third, to consider whether in the aftermath of Democratic Kampuchea and the Cold War Cham became radicalized. Its theoretical position is that the group’s religious, ethnic and other social identities can be classified as core (those that are enduring) and peripheral (those that are more changeable depending on new social and global contexts). Core identities include being Muslim (religious) and descendants from Champa whose indigenous language is Cham. Peripheral identities are sectarian, economic and political.