Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Faculty Profiles

DR Noorman Abdullah
National University of Singapore
10 Kent Ridge Crescent, Singapore 119260

Appointment: LECTURER
Office: AS1/05-46
Email: socnoorm@nus.edu.sg
Tel: (65) 6516 4440
Fax: (65) 6777 9579
Homepage: http://profile.nus.edu.sg/fass/socnoorm/
| Brief Introduction | Current Research | Research Interests | Publications | Other Information

Brief Introduction Top

Noorman obtained his Ph.D. (summa cum laude) from the University of Bielefeld after completing a M.Soc.Sci and B.Soc.Sci from NUS. For his doctoral thesis, he produced an ethnographic piece on everyday religiosity and spirit possession among Malay-Muslim families in Singapore. Over the years, his research endeavours bring together broader interests in making sense of the establishment and maintenance of boundaries in demarcating sites of similitude and difference, and a strong empirical component grounded especially on ethnography and qualitative fieldwork. At a broader level, his 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, he enjoys travel, reading, and occupying his time with four boisterous cats and a demanding nephew.

Current Research Top

HIV/AIDS research
Recreational Drug Use and Experiences
Spirit Interference and Religiosity

Research Interests Top

Deviance, Crime, and Social Control
Religion and Society
Qualitative Research Methods (particularly ethnography and visual/sensorial media)
Sociology of Senses

Publications Top


  • (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.
  • (2007) 'An Interview with Professor Joanna Pfaff-Czarnecka' (with Kelvin Low), International Sociological Association (ISA) E-Bulletin , 8.
  • (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.
  • (2005) 'Academic Colonialism, Corporate Intellectuals, and "Lost" Ideals: Reflections on the State of Sociology in the New Millennium' (with Kelvin Low), International Sociological Association (ISA) E-Bulletin, 2, pp.26-32.


  • (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, 157-76.


  • (2007) 'Rave Encounters and the Meaningfulness of ATS Use: Realms of Alternative Possibilities in Singapore', National University of Singapore, Department of Sociology Working Paper Series, No. 185, 31pp.
  • (2005) 'The Social Construction of the "Drug Problem" in Historical and Contemporary Singapore', National University of Singapore, Department of Sociology Working Paper Series, No. 175, 38pp.
  • (2004) '(Re)thinking the Categories of Halal and Haram: Notes on Islamic Food Rules in Singapore', National University of Singapore, Department of Sociology Working Paper Series, No. 168, 37pp.


  • (forthcoming, 2012) Review of Ko-lin Chin. 'The Golden Triangle: Inside Southeast Asia's Drug Trade'. Asian Journal of Social Science, 40.
  • (2009) Review of Syed Farid Alatas. 'Alternative Discourses in Asian Social Science: Responses of Eurocentrism'. Asian Journal of Social Science, 37(1): 175-78.
  • (2008) Review of Karen Fjelstad and Nguyen Thi Hien (eds.) 'Possessed by the Spirits: Mediumship in Contemporary Vietnamese Communities'. Asian Journal of Social Science, 36(3/4): 684-86.


  • Encyclopedia Entries
    (2006) Singapore: The Encyclopedia (with others), Singapore: Editions Didier Millet and the National Heritage Board.


  • Ph.D. dissertation (2011)
    'Spirit Interference, Islam, and the Construction of the "Good Muslim" in Everyday Life Singapore'. University of Bielefeld, Germany.

Other Information Top

Secretary-Treasurer, TG07 Senses and Society, International Sociological Association (since 2012)
Membership: International Sociological Association; Global Studies Association
Reviewer: Asian Journal of Social Science; Copenhagen Journal of Asian Studies

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