The academic study of women in Asia developed in the 1970s as a result of the convergence of the then emerging disciplines of Asian Studies and Women’s Studies. Initially, work on women in Asia grew from traditional branches of learning such as history, anthropology, politics, and literary studies. More recently, it has incorporated cutting-edge areas of academic endeavour, including critical theory and new thinking on sexuality, labour, health, media, and material culture. As research in and around the area flourishes as never before, this new four-volume collection from Routledge meets the need for an authoritative reference work to make sense of a rapidly growing and ever more complex corpus of scholarly literature.
Drawing together in four volumes the key research which has shaped the dynamic academic field that explores women’s lives in the Asian region over the past four decades, and edited by two leading scholars, Women in Asia provides users with a comprehensive survey of all the major issues relating to women in the world’s fastest changing and most culturally diverse region.
Volume I (‘Women and Political Power’) brings together material which explores the engagement by women in Asia with the law (e.g. struggles to acquire equal pay and inheritance rights), formal political power (e.g. structural blocks to their participation in government), and education. This volume also gathers vital contributions on women’s activism (e.g. feminist groups, comfort women’s groups, housewives’ unions, and transnational activism).
Volume II (‘Redefining Working Women’) collects research around topics including: women and unions; women in paid and unpaid labour (e.g. the gendered division of labour in Asian households); women as migrant workers; women in development; prostitution and trafficking; and women as carers.
Volume III (‘Health and Sexuality’) brings together the best—and most influential—scholarship on contentious themes such as the increasing imbalance in sex ratios in the region as a result of female infanticide, sex-selective abortions, and the kidnapping of wives. Research gathered in this volume also covers reproductive health; violence against women (e.g. female genital mutilation, dowry burnings, and honour killings); same-sex attraction and diverse gender identity; and medicine and health care (including work on traditional medicine and mental-health problems specific to women in the region, such as the high suicide rates in China and South Asia).
The material collected in Volume IV (‘Constructions of the Feminine’) focuses on women in the family (e.g. gendered role expectations); women in religion; Western perceptions of Asian women (e.g. stereotypes of passivity); women in the arts; and official discourses on the feminine (such as the promotion by Asian governments of gender roles).
Women in Asia is fully indexed and each of the four volumes has a comprehensive introduction, newly written by the editors, which provides extended reading lists and places the material in its historical and intellectual context. It is an essential work of reference and is destined to be valued by scholars and students—as well as policy-makers and community activists—as a vital one-stop research resource.
Table of Contents
Volume I: Women and Political Power
1. Susan Blackburn, ‘Violence’, Women and the State in Modern Indonesia (Cambridge University Press, 2004), pp. 194–219.
2. Mina Roces, ‘Power Outside the Symbols of Power’, Women, Power and Kinship Politics: Female Power in Post-War Philippines (Praeger, 1998), pp. 29–71.
3. Tessa Bartholomeusz, ‘Mothers of Buddhas, Mothers of Nations: Kumaranatunga and Her Meteoric Rise to Power in Sri Lanka’, Feminist Studies, 1999, 25, 1, 211–25.
4. Louise Edwards, ‘Women’s Suffrage in China: Challenging Scholarly Conventions’, Pacific Historical Review, 2000, 69, 4, 617–38.
5. Barbara Molony, ‘Citizenship and Suffrage in Interwar Japan’, in Louise Edwards and Mina Roces (eds.), Women’s Suffrage in Asia: Gender, Nationalism and Democracy (Routledge, 2004), pp. 127–51.
6. Lenore Lyons, ‘Being a Feminist Means …’, A State of Ambivalence: The Feminist Movement in Singapore (E. J. Brill, 2004), pp. 63–87.
7. Raka Ray, ‘Coexistence in a Heterogeneous Political Culture’, Fields of Protest: Women’s Movements in India (University of Minnesota Press, 1999), pp. 121–39.
8. Ligaya Lindio-McGovern, ‘KAMMI’s Local Politics of Resistance’, Filipino Peasant Women Exploitation and Resistance (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1997), pp. 79–138.
9. Jude Howell, ‘Women’s Organizations and Civil Society in China’, International Feminist Journal of Politics, 2003, 5, 2, 191–215.
10. Kyung-Ae Park, ‘Political Representation and South Korean Women’, Journal of Asian Studies, 1999, 58, 2, 432–48.
11. Kathryn Robinson, ‘Islam, Gender, and Politics in Indonesia’, in Virginia Hooker and Amin Saikal (eds.), Islamic Perspectives on the New Millennium (Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 2004), pp. 183–96.
12. Lucinda Peach, ‘Sex or Sangha? Non-Normative Gender Roles for Women in Thai Law and Religion’, in Amanda Whiting and Carolyn Evans (eds.), Mixed Blessings: Laws, Religions, and Women’s Rights in the Asia-Pacific Region (Martinus Nijhoff, 2006), pp. 25–60.
13. Sidonie Smith, ‘Belated Narrating: Grandmothers’ Telling Stories of Forced Sexual Servitude During World War II’, in Wendy Hesford and Wendy Kozol (eds.), Just Advocacy: Women’s Human Rights, Transnational Feminisms, and the Politics of Representation (Rutgers University Press, 2005), pp. 120–45.
14. Tatjana Haque, ‘Body Politics in Bangladesh’, in Brenda S. A. Yeoh, Peggy Teo, and Shirlena Huang (eds.), Gender Politics in the Asia-Pacific Region (Routledge, 2002), pp. 41–60.
15. Scot Barmé, ‘Evocations of Equality: Female Education and Employment’, Women, Man, Bangkok: Love, Sex, and Popular Culture in Thailand (Rowman and Littlefield, 2002), pp. 133–55.
Volume II: Redefining Working Women
16. Vera Mackie, ‘Workers’, Creating Socialist Women in Japan (Cambridge University Press, 1997), pp. 95–127.
17. Aihwa Ong, ‘Spirits of Resistance’, Spirits of Resistance and Capitalist Discipline: Factory Women in Malaysia (State University of New York Press, 1987), pp. 195–213.
18. Diane Wolf, ‘The Factories’, Factory Daughters: Gender, Household Dynamics and Rural Industrialization in Java (University of California Press, 1992), pp. 109–36.
19. Rhacel Salazar Parreñas, ‘The Dislocation of Nonbelonging: Domestic Workers in the Filipino Migrant Communities of Rome and Los Angeles’, Servants of Globalization: Women, Migration and Domestic Work (Stanford University Press, 2001), pp. 197–242.
20. Sylvia Chant and Cathy McIlwaine, ‘Gender and Manufacturing Employment’, Women of a Lesser Cost (Pluto Press, 1995), pp. 129–71.
21. Ellen R. Judd, ‘GAD with Chinese Characteristics’, The Chinese Women’s Movement Between State and Market (Stanford University Press, 2002), pp. 33–54.
22. Bina Agarwal, ‘The Gender and Environment Debate: Lessons from India’, Feminist Studies, 1992, 18, 1, 119–58.
23. Tamara Jacka, ‘Approaches to Women and Development in Rural China’, Journal of Contemporary China, 2006, 15, 49, 585–602.
24. Nazli Kibria, ‘Culture, Social Class and Income Control in the Lives of Women Garment Workers in Bangladesh’, Gender and Society, 1995, 9, 3, 289–309.
25. Pun Ngai, ‘Becoming Dagongmei (Working Girls): The Politics of Identity and Difference in Reform China’, The China Journal, 1999, 42, 1–18.
26. Seung-kyung Kim, ‘Big Companies Don’t Hire Us, Married Women: Exploitation and Empowerment among Women Workers in South Korea’, Feminist Studies, 1996, 22, 3, 555–71.
27. Krishna Sen, ‘Indonesian Women at Work’, in Krishna Sen and Maila Stivens (eds.), Gender and Power in Affluent Asia (Routledge, 1998), pp. 35–62.
28. G. G. Weix, ‘Hidden Managers at Home: Elite Javanese Women Running New Order Family Firms’, in Juliette Koning et al. (eds.), Women and Households in Indonesia: Cultural Notions and Social Practices (Curzon and Nordic Institute of Asian Studies Press, 2000), pp. 299–314.
29. Nerida Cook, ‘Dutiful Daughters, Estranged Sisters’, in Krishna Sen and Maila Stivens (eds.), Gender and Power in Affluent Asia (Routledge, 1998), pp. 250–90.
Volume III: Health and Sexuality
30. Lenore Manderson, ‘Domestic Lives: Reproduction, The Mother and the Child’, Sickness and the State: Health and Illness in Colonial Malaya, 1870–1940 (Cambridge University Press, 1996), pp. 201–29.
31. Sabine Frühstück, ‘Claiming the Fetus’, Colonizing Sex: Sexology and Social Control in Modern Japan (California University Press, 2003), pp. 116–51.
32. Harriet Evans, ‘Discourses of Sexuality Since 1949’, Women and Sexuality in China (Continuum, 1997), pp. 1–32.
33. Saskia Wieringa and Evelyn Blackwood, ‘Globalization, Sexuality and Silences: Women’s Sexualities and Masculinities in and Asian Context’, in Saskia Wieringa, Evelyn Blackwood, and Abha Bhaiya, Women’s Sexualities and Masculinities in a Globalizing Asia (Palgrave, 2007), pp. 1–20.
34. Susan Greenhalgh, ‘Science, Modernity and the Making of China’s One-Child Policy’, Population and Development Review, 2003, 29, 2, 163–96.
35. Mercedes Lactao et al., ‘From Sanas to Dapat: Negotiating Entitlement in Reproductive Decision-Making in the Philippines’, in Rosalind P. Petchesky and Karen Judd (eds.), Negotiating Reproductive Rights: Women’s Perspectives Across Countries and Cultures (Zed, 1998), pp. 217–55.
36. Kalpana Ram, ‘Rationalizing Fecund Bodies: Family Planning Policy and the Modern Indian Nation-State’, in Margaret Jolly and Kalpana Ram (eds.), Borders of Being: Citizenship, Fertility and Sexuality in Asia and the Pacific (University of Michigan Press, 2001), pp. 82–117.
37. Andrea Whittaker, ‘Corrupt Girls, Victims of Men, Desperate Women’, Abortion, Sin and the State in Thailand (RoutledgeCurzon, 2004), pp. 91–108.
38. Angela Savage, ‘"Vectors" and "Protectors": Women and HIV/AIDS in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic’, in Lenore Manderson and Pranee Liamputtong Rice (eds.), Maternity and Reproductive Health in Asian Societies (Harwood Academic, 1996), pp. 277–99.
39. Sunny Lansang, ‘Gender Issues in Revolutionary Praxis’, Philippine Left Review, 1991, 1, 41–52.
40. Elaine Jeffreys, ‘Feminist Prostitution Debates: Are There any Sex Workers in China?’, in Anne E. McLaren (ed.), Chinese Women: Living and Working (RoutledgeCurzon, 2004), pp. 83–105.
41. Mridula Bandyopadhyay and Mahmuda Rahman Khan, ‘Loss of Face: Violence against Women in South Asia’, in Lenore Manderson and Linda Rae Bennett (eds.), Violence against Women in Asian Societies (RoutledgeCurzon, 2003), pp. 61–75.
42. Catherine Burns, ‘Subversive Stories and Feminist Strategies’, Sexual Violence and the Law in Japan (RoutledgeCurzon, 2005), pp. 131–58.
43. Emily Honig and Gail Hershatter, ‘Violence against Women’, Personal Voices: Chinese Women in the 1980s (Stanford University Press, 1988), pp. 273–98.
Volume IV: Constructions of the Feminine
44. Ann Laura Stoler, ‘Gender and Morality in the Making of Race’, Carnal Knowledge and Imperial Power: Race and the Intimate in Colonial Rule (University of California Press, 2002), pp. 41–78.
45. Julia I. Suryakusuma, ‘The State and Sexuality in New Order Indonesia’, in Laurie J. Sears (ed.), Fantasizing the Feminine in Indonesia (Duke University Press, 1996), pp. 92–119.
46. Jasmine S. Chan, ‘The Status of Women in a Patriarchal State: The Case of Singapore’, in Louise Edwards and Mina Roces (eds.), Women in Asia: Tradition, Modernity and Globalisation (University of Michigan Press, 2000), pp. 39–58.
47. Geraldine Heng and Janadas Devan, ‘State Fatherhood: The Politics of Nationalism, Sexuality, and Race in Singapore’, in Andrew Parker et al. (eds.), Nationalisms and Sexualities (Routledge, 1992), pp. 343–64.
48. Stephanie Fahey, ‘Vietnam’s Women in the Renovation Era’, in Krishna Sen and Maila Stivens (eds.), Gender and Power in Affluent Asia (Routledge, 1998), pp. 222–49.
49. Neil J. Diamant, ‘Re-examining the Impact of the 1950 Marriage Law: State Improvisation, Local Initiative and Rural Family Change’, The China Quarterly, 2000, 161, 171–98.
50. Cecilia Nathansen Milwertz, ‘The Cultural Assumption of Virtuous Wife and Good Mother’, Accepting Population Control: Urban Chinese Women and the One-Child Family Policy (Curzon, 1997), pp. 150–82.
51. Suzanne A. Brenner, ‘Why Women Rule the Roost: Rethinking Javanese Ideologies of Gender and Self Control’, in Michael G. Peletz and Aihwa Ong (eds.), Bewitching Women, Pious Men: Gender and Body Politics in Southeast Asia (University of California Press, 1995), pp. 19–50.
52. Monica Lindberg Falk, ‘Women in Between: Becoming Religious Persons in Thailand’, in E. Banks Findly (ed.), Women’s Buddhism (Wisdom Publications, 2000), pp. 37–57.
53. Mary Elaine Hegland, ‘The Power Paradox in Muslim Women’s Majales: North-West Pakistani Mourning Rituals as Sites of Contestation over Religious Politics, Ethnicity and Gender’, Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, 1998, 23, 2, 391–428.
54. Norani Othman, ‘Umma and Citizenry: Civil Society in the New World Order’, in Othman (ed.), Shari’a Law and the Modern Nation-State: A Malaysian Symposium (Sisters in Islam, 1994), pp. 81–5.
55. Farida Shaheed, ‘Controlled or Autonomous: Identity and the Experience of the Network, Women Living under Muslim Laws’, Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, 1994, 19, 4, 997–1019.
56. Maila Stivens, ‘Modernizing the Malay Mother’, in Kalpana Ram and Margaret Jolly (eds.), Maternities and Modernities: Colonial and Postcolonial Experiences in Asia and the Pacific (Cambridge University Press, 1998), pp. 50–80.
57. Anne Allison, ‘Producing Mothers’, in Anne E. Imamura (ed.), Reimaging Japanese Women (University of California Press, 1996), pp. 135–55.
58. Michael G. Peletz, ‘Neither Reasonable nor Responsible: Contrasting Representations of Masculinity in Malay Society’, Cultural Anthropology, 1994, 9, 2, 135–78.
Louise Edwards is Professor of China Studies at the University of Technology, Sydney. She is National Convenor of the Australian Research Council’s Asia Pacific Futures Research Network and has been active in the executives of the Chinese Studies Association of Australia and the Asian Studies Association of Australia.
Mina Roces, a Phd graduate of the University of Michigan, is Senior Lecturer in the School of History and Philosophy at the University of New South Wales, Sydney. She is Publications Officer of the Asian Studies Association of Australia.