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Mobility on the Move

Rickshaws in Asia

M. William Steele

The rickshaw initiated an explosion in personal mobility in Asia in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Invented in Japan in 1869, by 1872 there were forty thousand and by 1875 over one hundred thousand of the new two-wheel vehicles on the streets of Tokyo. The number reached a peak in 1896 with 210,000 countrywide. The rickshaw (in Japanese, jinrikisha) quickly spread to Asia, to Shanghai and Hong Kong in 1874, to Singapore and Calcutta in 1880. By 1900, the rickshaw had spread throughout the continent, bringing with it new mobility to an emerging urban middle class. Moreover, for many people in Asia, the rickshaw alongside the locomotive, came to symbolize modernity. This article will explore routes of diffusion, focusing on the role played by Akiha Daisuke and his adopted son, Akiha Daisuke II, Japan's largest exporters of rickshaws, in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

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Introduction

Postcolonial Intersections. Asia on the Move

Mayurakshi Chaudhuri and Viola Thimm

The past decade has witnessed an exponential growth in literature on the diverse forms, practices, and politics of mobility. Research on migration has been at the forefront of this field. Themes in this respect include heterogeneous practices that have developed out of traditions of resistance to a global historical trajectory of imperialism and colonialism. In response to such historical transformations of recent decades, the nature of postcolonial inquiry has evolved. Such changing postcolonial trajectories and power negotiations are more pronounced in specific parts of the world than in others. To that end, “Postcolonial Intersections: Asia on the Move” is a special section that engages, examines, and analyzes everyday power negotiations, focusing particularly on Asia. Such everyday negotiations explicitly point to pressure points and movements across multiple geosocial scales where gender, religion, age, social class, and caste, to name a few, are constantly negotiated and redefined via changing subjectivities.

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Ka Lin

Social theories are heavily context-embedded, and their creation is naturally interwoven with particular contexts. Once they are disseminated within a new societal landscape, adjustments and adaptation should be made. This paper investigates the entangled contexts of the social quality theory and its applicability to Asian societies. rough a comparative analysis of the key questions that this theory purports to answer, as well as its proposed answers and solutions, the study evaluates the purpose, features and functions of the theory. Moreover, in relation to four sorts of 'conditional factors', this article also proposes extending social quality studies into four approaches that should lead the studies beyond the level of description into new forms of theory. The article also explores the theory's power to explain the Asian social quality systems and their implications for global social development.

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Shamanism in Inner Asia

Two archetypes

T. D. Skrynnikova

The author considers that the term 'shamanism' is inappropriate to designate the phenomenon generally so described. Materials on the shamanism of the peoples of Inner Asia lead to the identification of two separate archetypes, i.e. east-Asian and southwest-Asian. Two traditional cultural codes are discussed - that concerned with the principal 'personages' (the supreme deities), and that with the 'agents' (the performers of the ritual). In the east-Asian archetype, the two principal deities are the Sky and the Earth, and the major socially significant rituals - for example, New Year - are carried out by secular leaders, such as the khan, elders, heads of clans, and others. In the southwest archetype, which developed under the influence of ancient Iranian and Indo-Arian traditions, there was a triad of heavenly beings, of which the major one was the Sun, accompanied by groups of other, lesser deities - those of the 'right' and those of the 'left'. The author concludes that only where the cult of the Sun is observed (later possibly mingled with the Thunder-god) do 'white' shamans perform the sacred functions and rituals.

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Textbook Conflicts in South Asia

Politics of Memory and National Identity

Deepa Nair

The aftermath of World War II saw the emergence of many new nation-states on the Asian geopolitical map and a simultaneous attempt by these states to claim the agency of nationhood and to create an aura of a homogenous national identity. Textbooks have been the most potent tools used by nations to inject an idea of a national memory - in many instances with utter disregard for fundamental contradictions within the socio-political milieu. In South Asia, political sensitivity towards transmission of the past is reflected in the attempts of these states to revise or rewrite versions which are most consonant with the ideology of dominant players (political parties, religious organizations, ministries of education, publishing houses, NGOs, etc.) concerning the nature of the state and the identity of its citizens. This paper highlights the fundamental fault lines in the project of nation-building in states in South Asia by locating instances of the revision or rewriting of dominant interpretations of the past. By providing an overview of various revisionist exercises in South Asia, an attempt will be made to highlight important issues that are fundamental to the construction of identities in this diverse continent.

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Md Saidul Islam and Si Hui Lim

Home to 60 percent of the world's population, Asia accounts for 85 percent of those killed and affected globally by disaster events in 2011. Using an integrated sociological framework comprised of the pressure and release (PAR) model and the double-risk society hypothesis, and drawing on data obtained from the Emergency Events Database (EM-DAT), PreventionWeb, and the IPCC special report on extreme events, this article offers a sociological understanding of disaster development and recovery in Asia. The particular focus is on seven Asian countries, namely, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Thailand, Taiwan, and Vietnam. Rather than treating disasters entirely as “natural” events caused by “violent forces of nature”, we emphasize various ways in which social systems create disaster vulnerability. We argue that existing disaster mitigation and adaptation strategies in Asia that focus almost entirely on the natural and technological aspects of hazards have serious limitations, as they ignore the root causes of disaster vulnerabilities, such as limited access to power and resources. This article therefore recommends a holistic approach to disaster management and mitigation that takes into consideration the various larger social, political, and economic conditions and contexts.

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Mythili Rajiva

In this article, I examine how second generation South Asian Canadian girls negotiate their racialized position in peer culture, through various strategies of accommodation, denial and resistance. I use feminist post-structuralist theories of discourse and positioning with feminist and narrative methods to analyze my interviews with ten subjects about their racialized adolescence. I argue that girls use certain strategies of accommodation—'passing', wannabe-ism, and strategic Otherness—to fit in without abandoning their ethnicized identities. Strategies of denial surface through girls' internalizing of dominant discourses of racism; this leads them to rationalize racism or invoke assimilationist narratives that hold minorities responsible for their own experiences of exclusion. Girls also use strategies of resistance in which they identify hegemonic discourses of belonging, speak openly about racism or criticize aspects of white culture in the context of South Asian community and family norms.

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Rickshaws in South Asia

Introduction to the Special Section

M. William Steele

The rickshaw, invented in Japan in 1869, helped to produce a revolution in mobility for millions of people in Asia and Africa. By the 1930s, the everyday mobility offered by the hand-pulled rickshaw gave way to several of its off spring: the cycle-rickshaw, trishaw, pedicab, cyclo, becak, and the auto-rickshaw. The three articles in this special section describe how these “primitive” non-motorized vehicles continue in the twenty-first century to play a valuable and irreplaceable role in urban and rural transport in South Asian cities. The authors are traffic experts, geographers, and urban planners who live and work in contemporary rickshaw cultures. Despite the reality of urban hazards, the articles describe cultural, economic, and environmental reasons to keep rickshaws on the road, now and in the future.

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Thomas Henökl and Michael Reiterer

Inter-regional orchestration is one possible strategy to shape global governance agendas, to coordinate international norm setting and contribute to a negotiated international order. The European Union has been engaging in various international, multilateral and inter-regional settings seeking cooperation with state and non-state actors striving for a multipolar and, to some extent post-Westphalian, system, based on democratic global governance structures and the rule of law among nations. Europe's interests, it is frequently argued, are best served by a stable set of relations, allowing for political and economic cooperation, trade and mutual respect. At the same time, the EU may have a system-inherent bias for regional cooperation. This contribution asks which are the innovative policy means to build multilateral governance structures, and what does the EU do to promote these with its partners around the world, and in particular in Asia and in the East-Asian sub-region. By adopting a behavioral approach and analyzing the mechanisms and instruments of EU engagement in Asia, this article contributes an organizational perspective on EU external governance and its multi-level foreign policy architecture to the geopolitical debates on the EU's role in Asian regional development.

Spanish Una posible estrategia para organizar las agendas de gobernanza global, coordinar el establecimiento de normas internacionales y contribuir a un orden internacional negociado es la orquestación interregional. La Unión Europea (UE) ha participado en varios foros internacionales e interregionales que buscan cooperar con actores estatales y no gubernamentales, aspirando a establecer un sistema multipolar , basado en el Estado de derecho y en estructuras de gobernanza democrática global. En este sentido, se e afirma que, probablemente, la UE tenga un sistema que esté inherentemente condicionado a favor de la cooperación regional. Este artículo se interroga sobre la determinación de las políticas innovadoras que construirán la estructura para una gobernanza multilateral y sobre el papel de la UE para promover políticas de desarrollo regional en Asia y, más particularmente, en Asia Oriental.

French L'orchestration interrégionale est une des stratégies possibles pour influencer l'agenda de la gouvernance globale, coordonner la création des normes internationales et pour contribuer à un ordre international négocié. L'Union européenne s'est engagée dans des schémas internationaux, multilatéraux et interrégionaux divers, en coopération avec des acteurs étatiques et non-étatiques, aspirant à un système multipolaire et, dans un certain sens, post-Westphalien, basé sur des structures démocratiques de gouvernance mondiale et ancré dans le droit international. Il est fréquemment évoqué que les intérêts européens sont mieux sauvegardés par un ensemble de relations stables, permettant la coopération politique et économique, le commerce et le respect mutuel. De plus, la matrice organisationnelle de l'UE semble être biaisée vers la coopération régionale. On s'interroge ensuite, sur la promotion de l'ensemble de ces pratiques par l'Union européenne avec ses partenaires dans le monde entier, et, plus particulièrement, dans la région de l'Asie de l'Est. Adoptant une approche béhavioriste, cet article examine les mécanismes et les instruments de l'engagement européen en Asie de l'Est et apporte une perspective organisationnelle de la gouvernance externe de l'UE et de son architecture multiniveaux de politique extérieure.

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Andreas Weiß

This article investigates representations of East Asia in the geography textbooks of the Wilhelmine Empire. This region was of central importance for the imagination of the Empire and for its position in the international balance of power. China and Japan were oft-mentioned regions,1 and were most frequently included in textbooks as a result of political crises and armed conflicts. As a result, the subject of geography repeatedly aired debates and trends from both colonial and scientific fields, and textbooks reflected the broader social positions of the day.