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This selected translation of Blue Book of Chinese Education 2016 reviews China’s education development in 2015. Chapter one offers an overview. Chapters two to four examine rural education in China, including the education of the left-behind children, compulsory education in rural areas, and the working condition of rural teachers. Chapters five to eleven cover educational services, education reform, non-governmental education, training program for teachers, teaching of traditional Chinese culture, the basic values of high-school students, and school bullying. The last three chapters are survey reports of compulsory education development in Chinese cities, math and science education for ethnic minority populations, and education authorities’ attitudes toward reform. The seven appendices provide important supplementary materials.
Volume Editor: Yunxiang Yan
Chinese Families Upside Down offers the first systematic account of how intergenerational dependence is redefining the Chinese family. The authors make a collective effort to go beyond the conventional model of filial piety to explore the rich, nuanced, and often unexpected new intergenerational dynamics. Supported by ethnographic findings from the latest field research, novel interpretations of neo-familism address critical issues from fresh perspectives, such as the ambivalence in grandparenting, the conflicts between individual and family interests, the remaking of the moral self in the face of family crises, and the decisive influence of the Chinese state on family change. The book is an essential read for scholars and students of China studies in particular and for those who are interested in the present-day family and kinship in general.
The Portrayal of Women in Early Christian Armenian Texts
Author: David Zakarian
The Women, Too, Were Blessed by David Zakarian is the first extensive study of the representation of women in the fifth-century Armenian literature and historiography. It investigates the ways in which the ecclesiastical authorities envisioned the role of women in society after Christianisation and reveals some aspects of women’s lived experience in the patriarchal society of Armenia. The book offers a close scrutiny of all the passages that speak about women examining them within the context of pre-Christian (Zoroastrian) beliefs of the Armenians and the works of Greek and Syriac Church Fathers. The texts invariably evince the authors’ tendency to construct and promote role models of influential, pious Christian women who contributed to the preservation and promulgation of the new religion.
Interdisciplinary Approaches to Ritual Prognostication in the Tibetan Bon Tradition
In Divination in Exile, Alexander K. Smith offers the first comprehensive scholarly introduction to the performance of divination in Tibetan speaking communities, both past and present. While Smith surveys a variety of ritual practices, the volume focuses on divination and its associated rites in the contemporary Tibetan Bon tradition. Drawing from multi-site ethnographic fieldwork conducted in Himachal Pradesh and the translation of previously unpublished Tibetan language materials, Divination in Exile offers a valuable, social scientific contribution to our understanding of the perception and usage of ritual manuscripts in contemporary Tibetan cultural milieus.

Abstract

This article seeks to address some of the issues surrounding Indonesia’s overseas labour protection programme. Despite the fundamental reform of the programme since 2004, observers have assessed that this programme has faced a considerable implementation deficiency. While many studies have identified that this programme was not successful, in this article I aim to explain why. I argue that the government and civil society organizations have helped define, frame, and impose the term ‘protection’ in the process of policy production. In that process, the two stakeholders have demonstrated ‘the domestication of protection’, or an attitude in which the stakeholders of migration view the problems that appear in overseas labour settings as being ones originating in the migrant-sending countries. Therefore, protection is limited to taking action directed at the migration process within the jurisdiction of the sending country. In my research on this topic, I mainly employed open-ended interviews and field observations between 2013 and 2019 in Indonesia and Malaysia.

Abstract

The Ibaloy, an indigenous group of the Cordillera Central in the Philippines, perform complex burial rites. Often when someone falls ill, they also exhume human remains, a practice that has not received the attention it deserves in a cosmology where animism and analogism are intertwined. Here, we describe a variant of the késheng ja waray batbat ritual observed in 2017, the timeline of its sequences, and the many objects and acts it involves. This ritual is key to the exchanges that the living make with the dead. In it, pigs act more as ‘connectors’ than as sacrificial offerings, and their flesh, blood, and karashowa (soul) are used and shared. This three-day ritual questions death as the end of life, and sheds light on the extent to which Hertz’s ‘second funeral’ concept is useful in understanding the relationships between the living and the dead. It also illuminates how the dead need continuous help from the living and vice versa. Both groups strive to reach a state of diteng (well-being, healthiness) which can be reached only after the dead themselves experience it, thanks to the efforts of the living who take care of their remains and make offerings to them. Then, luck and prosperity can be expected from the dead. These exchanges appear to be necessary to live a good life, and they must be repeated and maintained at all cost.