Abstract

Speaking across disciplines is always easier said than done. Engseng Ho's thought-provoking article strives to do just that (and achieves the goal nicely), with its broad overview of the literature, the numerous examples that it draws on, and the ambitious conceptual innovations it proposes. As the only sociologist invited to comment on Ho's article, I see my task as bringing Ho's article into fruitful conversation with my own discipline, which is known to be indifferent (if not hostile) to area studies and which (unfortunately) remains largely missing in Ho's imagined audience. I do so by drawing on my own work and some of the theoretical developments in the broader discipline in the past two decades or so. To make intelligible where my comments are coming from, let me begin by briefly introducing what sorts of questions interest me as a sociologist.

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