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The archive of the Kong Koan constitutes the only relatively complete archive of a “diaspora” Chinese urban community in Southeast Asia. The essays in the present volume offer important and new insights into many different aspects of Overseas Chinese life between 1780-1965.
The Kong Koan of colonial Batavia was a semi-autonomous organization, in which the local elite of Jakarta’s Chinese community supervised and coordinated its social and religious matters. During its long existence as a semi-official colonial institution, the Kong Koan collected sizeable Chinese archival holdings with demographic data on marriages and funerals, account books of the religious organisations and temples, documents connected with educational institutions, and the meetings of the board itself.
Author: Kenneth Tan
Through close readings of contemporary made-in-Singapore films (by Jack Neo, Eric Khoo, and Royston Tan) and television programs (Singapore Idol, sitcoms, and dramas), this book explores the possibilities and limitations of resistance within an advanced capitalist-industrial society whose authoritarian government skillfully negotiates the risks and opportunities of balancing its on-going nation-building project and its “global city” aspirations. This book adopts a framework inspired by Antonio Gramsci that identifies ideological struggles in art and popular culture, but maintains the importance of Herbert Marcuse’s one-dimensional society analysis as theoretical limits to recognize the power of authoritarian capitalism to subsume works of art and popular culture even as they attempt consciously—even at times successfully—to negate and oppose dominant hegemonic formations.
Editor: David C.L. Lim
Overcoming Passion examines the passion for race in contemporary Malaysia. Broadly the essays look at the disjunction between the falsity of race as a scientific category and the entrenched belief that race determines one's rightful identity. They probe the ways in which individual minds and institutions of power fail or refuse to recognise and act in accordance with the knowledge that race exists only insofar as its existence is sustained by the believer's belief in it. The contributors draw from a burgeoning but under-examined archive of Malaysia-related social texts, ranging from media and technological discourse, popular culture and literary production to historical writings, produced originally in English, Malay and Mandarin Chinese.
"Why have years of police reform in Singapore not produced significant changes in improving the policing of marital violence" is the fundamental question raised by this volume. Carefully exploring the police response to marital violence in Singapore, while paying due attention to the particular culture and historical context in place, the author reframes the questions about the problem of intimate violence. The book goes into the ramifications for the criminal justice system, particularly into the issues of policing, safety and protection of victims from such violence. A careful documentation of the reform process, but also the resistance encountered within the police organisation, especially by the rank-and-file police.
Notwithstanding the lean years that followed 1986 and 1997, sustained economic growth since the late 1970s has propelled Singapore into the post-industrial age and reproduced the demographic and social structure of advanced western societies. The rapid shift to a knowledge-intensive economy requiring highly-skilled services has resulted in a 'two-speed' society consisting of a highly competitive but rewarding sector and a marginalized population that is increasingly at risk. Being avowedly anti-welfarist, the state for ideological reasons has resisted pressures to introduce a comprehensive welfare regime for its risk population, preferring to privilege its productive citizenry. Is Singapore a counter-factual to the convergence thesis, by preferring to put in place a social policy driven by the belief of its leaders that the more successful a society is the more it is able to care for those who fall behind?
Revisiting Family Values and Ideology in Marriage
The meanings of marriage and divorce have shifted significantly in the past few decades, particularly in economies in Asia where rapid economic growth has transformed the social fabric. This book arises from possibly the most comprehensive study of divorce done in Singapore. The study highlights the root causes of divorce, and focuses on the impact of changing ideologies on marital stability. Themes that surfaced in the appreciation of why some marriages fail include women's changing expectations and their roles in the family, courtship expectations and the role of romantic love, parenthood demands and work stressors. The discussions are drawn from data collected from a large-scale representative survey of a study group comprising disolved marriages as well as a control group of intact marriages. Scholars investigating marriage and family in Asia will find the rich data content useful. The sociological insight makes the book a relevant read for all interested in family dynamics.
Understanding the Revitalization of Religions and Cultural Traditions in Asia
Revitalization of religious and cultural traditions is taking place in nearly all contemporary Asian societies, as is shown in Faith in the Future: Understanding the Revitalization of Religions and Cultural Traditions in Asia. Revitalization is not unique to Asia, it is one of the most significant new global trends in religion and society. While they are a response to globalization and rapid change, revitalization movements are not backward looking but represent a struggle by local people for their right to determine their own future in a changing world, while also reflecting their desire to find an appropriate place and status for themselves within a global context which they take for granted. The volume provides a comparative analysis of the key features and aspirations of revitalization movements and assesses their scope for shaping the future trajectories of societies in all parts of the world.
Editor: Eldar Bråten
Embedded Entrepreneurship examines the importance of cultural meaning in the creation and utilization of economic value. Based on case-studies from Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia, the authors demonstrate that micro-scale entrepreneurship is intertwined with prevailing conceptions, moralities and habituations in the entrepreneurs’ social milieu. More specifically, the volume argues that meaning-making is integral to economic opportunity; that economic actors’ market agency is shaped by cultural experiences; that entrepreneurs' prototypical “individualism” is socially contingent; and that cultural meanings channel economic value among economic and social domains. Addressing core questions about “embedding”, the authors suggest theoretical convergences between economic anthropology and economic sociology.
Contributors include: Signe Howell, Ingrid Rudie, Leif Manger, Olaf H. Smedal, Frode F. Jacobsen, Kristianne Ervik, Anette Fagertun, Lars Gjelstad, Nils Hidle, Anja Lillegraven, Solgunn Olsen and Ingvild Solvang.
An Oral History of Papuan Administrators, 1950-1990
Editor: Leontine Visser
This is the first time that indigenous Papuan administrators share their experiences with an international public in governing their country.These administrators were the brokers of development. After graduating from the School for Indigenous Administrators (OSIBA) they served in the Dutch administration until 1962. The period 1962-1969 stands out as turbulent and dangerous, and for many curtailed their professional careers. Having been in active service until their retirement in the early 1990s, their oral histories allow for a complete recounting of political and administrative transformations under the Indonesian governance of Irian Jaya/Papua.
This book brings together 17 oral histories of the everyday life of Papuan civil servants, including their relationships with superiors and colleagues, the murder of a Dutch administrator, their translation of ‘development’ to the Papuan people, the organization of their first democratic institutions, and the actual political and economic conditions leading up to the so-called Act of Free Choice. Finally, they share their experiences in the UNTEA and Indonesian government organization.
Author: Chiara Formichi
Recently Kartsowiryo and the Darul Islam have become heroic symbols of the Islamist struggle. The author looks beyond the popular dichotomy between rebel and martyr and unveils a politician whose legacy has been shaping the role of Islam in Indonesian politics for over fifty years. She thereby offers an alternative view of Soekarno as the leader of the republic and his antagonism with the Islamic state.
In a blend of archival sources, printed material, and oral accounts, the author follows the career and ideology of Kartosuwiryo.The chapters delineate the gradual radicalization of the Islamic party and of Kartosuwiryo's own ideals from the 1920s to the 1950s.
A testament to the relevance of historical research in understanding contemporary politics, Islam and the Making of the Nation guides the reader through the contingencies of the past that have led to the transformation of a nationalist leader into a 'separatist rebel' and a 'martyr', while at the same time shaping the public perception of political Islam and strengthening the position of the Pancasila in contemporary Indonesia.