This is a comprehensive introduction to the social and cultural anthropology of South-East Asia. It provides an overview of the major theoretical issues and themes which have emerged from the engagement of anthropologists with South-East Asian communities; a succinct historical survey and analysis of the peoples and cultures of the region. Most importantly the volume reveals the vitally important role which the study of the area has occupied in the development of the concepts and methods of anthropology: from the perspectives of Edmund Leach to Clifford Geertz, Maurice Freedman to Claude Levi-Strauss; Lauriston Sharp to Melford Spiro.
Review in The Journal of Asian Studies
1. Southeast Asia: A Field of Anthropological Enquiry? 2. Anthropology and the Colonial Impact (1900-1950) 3. Anthropology in the Period of Decolonization (1950-1970): The American Tradition 4. Anthropology in the Period of Decolonization (1950-1970): The European Tradition 5. Social and Economic Change: 'Peasants' as Part-Societies 6. Ethnicity, Identity and Nationalism 7. Ecology and Environmental Change 8. Gender and the Sexes 9. Urban Ways of Life 10. Summary, Conclusions and Trends
The books in this series address issues in processes of development, globalisation and change in Southeast Asia. Where appropriate they contextualise change and local responses to it by providing ethnographic materials on social and cultural forms and institutions. Although all the contributors to the series examine modern and contemporary issues in the anthropology of Southeast Asia, the emphasis in each book differs as authors choose to concentrate on specific dimensions of change and globalisation or work out particular conceptual approaches to the complex issues of development. Areas of concern include: nation-building, power and the media; technological innovations in agriculture and rural-urban migration; the expansion of industrial and commercial employment; the rapid increase in cultural and ethnic tourism; the consequences of deforestation and environmental degradation; heritage and identity; contemporary expressions of religious affliliation; the 'modernisation of tradition'; ethnic identity and conflict; changing gender relations; and the religious transformation of society.