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Ronald Suleski

In this exciting book, Ronald Suleski introduces daily life for the common people of China in the century from 1850 to 1950. They were semi-literate, yet they have left us written accounts of their hopes, fears, and values. They have left us the hand-written manuscripts ( chaoben 抄本) now flooding the antiques markets in China. These documents represent a new and heretofore overlooked category of historical sources.
Suleski gives a detailed explanation of the interaction of chaoben with the lives of the people. He offers examples of why they were so important to the poor laboring masses: people wanted horoscopes predicting their future, information about the ghosts causing them headaches, a few written words to help them trade in the rural markets, and many more examples are given. The book contains a special appendix giving the first complete translation into English of a chaoben describing the ghosts and goblins that bedeviled the poor working classes.

From Accelerated Accumulation to Socialist Market Economy in China

Economic Discourse and Development from 1953 to the Present

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Kjeld Erik Brodsgaard and Koen Rutten

In From Accelerated Accumulation to Socialist Market Economy in China, Kjeld Erik Brødsgaard and Koen Rutten examine China’s indigenous economic discourse and its relation to both economic policy-making and the overall trajectory of development from the First Five Year Plan in 1953 to 2016. In so doing, this volume demonstrates that although the form of the current economic system and its theoretical underpinnings bear scant resemblance to those of the planned economy, economic policy-making still relies on the principle of accelerated accumulation, which lay at the heart of the economic development project in the early years of the People’s Republic.

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Edited by Ward Berenschot, H.G.C. (Henk) Schulte Nordholt and Laurens Bakker

Citizenship and Democratization in Southeast Asia redirects the largely western-oriented study of citizenship to postcolonial states. Providing various fascinating first-hand accounts of how citizens interpret and realize the recognition of their property, identity, security and welfare in the context of a weak rule of law and clientelistic politics, this study highlights the importance of studying citizenship for understanding democratization processes in Southeast Asia. With case studies from Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines and Cambodia, this book provides a unique bottom-up perspective on the character of public life in Southeast Asia.

Contributors are: Mary Austin, Laurens Bakker, Ward Berenschot, Sheri Lynn Gibbings, Takeshi Ito, David Kloos, Merlyna Lim, Astrid Norén-Nilsson, Oona Pardedes, Emma Porio, Apichat Satitniramai, Wolfram Schaffer and Henk Schulte Nordholt.

This title is available in its entirety in Open Access.

Series:

Gerben Nooteboom

Forgotten People deals with people living at the fringes of the Indonesian society. It describes and analyses their livelihoods and styles of making a living from an insider perspective. While Indonesia has experienced steady economic growth for more than a decade, the livelihoods and lifestyles of poor people and migrants confronted with poverty and insecurity have received less attention. This book describes and analyses diversity in livelihood strategies, risk-taking and local forms of social security (social welfare) of people living below or close to the Indonesian poverty line. It puts two categories of forgotten people at the centre. Peasants, living in remote areas in rural Java, and Madurese migrants craving for a better life in urban and rural East Kalimantan.

A full text Open Access version is also available.

The Making of Middle Indonesia

Middle Classes in Kupang town, 1930s-1980s

Series:

Gerry van Klinken

What holds Indonesia together? 'A strong leader' is the answer most often given. This book looks instead at a middle level of society. Middle classes in provincial towns around the vast archipelago mediate between the state and society and help to constitute state power. 'Middle Indonesia' is a social zone connecting extremes. The Making of Middle Indonesia examines the rise of an indigenous middle class in one provincial town far removed from the capital city. Spanning the late colonial to early New Order periods, it develops an unusual, associational notion of political power. 'Soft' modalities of power included non-elite provincial people in the emerging Indonesian state. At the same time, growing inequalities produced class tensions that exploded in violence in 1965-1966.
Full text (Open Access)

In Search of Middle Indonesia

Middle Classes in Provincial Towns

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Edited by Gerry van Klinken and Ward Berenschot

The post-1998 surge in local politics has moved the provincial town back to centre stage. This book examines the Indonesian middle class (now 43%!) up close in the place where its members are most at home: the town. Middle Indonesia generates national political forces, yet it is neither particularly rich nor geographically central. This is an overwhelmingly lower middle class, a conservative petty bourgeoisie barely out of poverty and tied to the state. Middle Indonesia rather resists than welcomes globalized, open markets. Politically, it enjoys democracy but uses its political skills and clientelistic networks to make the system work to its advantage, which is not necessarily that of either the national elites or the poor.
Contributors include Ward Berenschot, Joseph Errington, Noorhaidi Hasan, Gerry van Klinken, Cornelis Lay, Wenty Marina Minza, Jan Newberry, Amalinda Savirani, Sylvia Tidey, Nicolaas Warouw, and Ben White. Photographs by S. Chris Brown.
Full text (Open Access)

Renegotiating Boundaries

Local Politics in Post-Suharto Indonesia

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Edited by H.G.C. Schulte Nordholt and Gerry van Klinken

For decades almost the only social scientists who visited Indonesia’s provinces were anthropologists. Anybody interested in politics or economics spent most of their time in Jakarta, where the action was. Our view of the world’s fourth largest country threatened to become simplistic, lacking that essential graininess. Then, in 1998, Indonesia was plunged into a crisis that could not be understood with simplistic tools. After 32 years of enforced stability, the New Order was at an end. Things began to happen in the provinces that no one was prepared for. Democratization was one, decentralization another. Ethnic and religious identities emerged that had lain buried under the blanket of the New Order’s modernizing ideology. Unfamiliar, sometimes violent forms of political competition and of rentseeking came to light.
Decentralization was often connected with the neo-liberal desire to reduce state powers and make room for free trade and democracy. To what extent were the goals of good governance and a stronger civil society achieved? How much of the process was ‘captured’ by regional elites to increase their own powers? Amidst the new identity politics, what has happened to citizenship? These are among the central questions addressed in this book.
This volume is the result of a two-year research project at KITLV. It brings together an international group of 24 scholars – mainly from Indonesia and the Netherlands but also from the United States, Australia, Germany, Canada and Portugal.
Full text (Open Access)

Jan Verschueren's Description of Yéi-Nan Culture

Extracted from the Posthumous Papers

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Jan Verschueren

Edited by J. van Baal

Joannis Cornelis Verschueren (1905-1970) worked as a Roman Catholic missionary in southern Irian from 1931 until 1970. In the 1950s he wrote a number of papers on the Yéi. These papers, based on older field notes and a research trip through the area, are recapitulated in this volume. Verschueren provides genuine inside information and his data are new and authentic. The four papers in this volume create a picture of a typical lowland culture with a surprising emphasis on headhunting, an uncommon way of segregating the sexes, and a highly elaborated system of phallic symbolism. Topics discussed in this volume are territorial, clan and moiety organization; kinship, marriage and conjugal life; the founding myths of Yéi-nan ritual and other rituals; initiation; sickness and healing; death, burial and mortuary feasts; other ceremonies.