Noorman Abdullah

I hold a joint-appointment with the Departments of Sociology and Malay Studies. I obtained my Ph.D. (summa cum laude) from the University of Bielefeld in Germany after completing both my masters and undergraduate degrees from the Department of Sociology here in NUS. My core research interests are religion and society, particularly in relation to spirit possession and everyday religiosity; deviance and social control; and sensory studies. Over the years, my research endeavours bring together broader interests in making sense of the establishment and maintenance of boundaries in demarcating sites of similitude and difference, with a strong empirical component grounded especially on ethnography, everyday life and qualitative fieldwork. At a broader level, my work centres on the manner in which the content and structure of social relations mediated through informal and formal institutions, have produced, maintained and reconfigured particular social identities. Outside of NUS, I have been elected as Secretary-Treasurer of TG07 Senses and Society, International Sociological Association (ISA) since 2012. I also enjoy travel, reading and occupying my time with four boisterous cats and a demanding nephew.


Office: AS1 02-17
Tel: 6516-5924
FASS profile page

Recent Publications

(2011). ‘On the Vulnerability of the Social Researcher: Observations from the Field of Spirit Interference’, International Sociological Association (ISA) E-Symposium for Sociology, 1(3): 1-16.

(2010). ‘Comfort Food, Memory, and “Home”: Senses in Transnational Contexts’, in Devorah Kalekin-Fishman and Kelvin E.Y. Low (eds.) Everyday Life in Asia: Social Perspectives on the Senses, Burlington: Ashgate, pp. 157-76.

(2005). 'Foreign Bodies at Work: Good, Docile and Other-ed.' Asian Journal of Social Science 33(2): 223-45.

(2005). 'Exploring the Constructions of the "Drug Problem" in Historical and Contemporary Singapore', New Zealand Journal of Asian Studies, 7(2): 40-70.