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May is Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (APAHM) is a celebration of the culture, traditions, and history of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States.

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Berghahn is happy to present several series and a selection of books on studies of Asia-Pacific cultures, societies, and histories.

 

Asia-Pacific Studies: Past and Present Series

The forces of globalization in the Asia-Pacific—the most economically dynamic region of the world—are bringing about profound social, political and cultural changes in everyday lives, affecting the world both within and beyond the region. New social and cultural formations, such as the rise of the middle classes, the spread of new mass-media and virtual technologies, and the burden of environmental pressures, present challenges to global social theories. Meanwhile, the past casts a lingering shadow, with historical conflicts adding fuel to current tensions over a wide range of issues. This book series provides an outlet for cutting-edge academic research on the politics, histories, societies, and cultures of individual countries in the Asia-Pacific together with overviews of major regional trends and developments.

 

MAKING A DIFFERENCE?
Social Assessment Policy and Praxis and its Emergence in China
Edited by Susanna Price and Kathryn Robinson

 

Social assessment for projects in China is an important emerging field. This collection of essays — from authors whose formative work has influenced the policies that shape practice in development-affected communities — locates recent Chinese experience of the development of social assessment practices (including in displacement and resettlement) in a historical and comparative perspective. Contributors — social scientists employed by international development banks, national government agencies, and sub-contracting groups — examine projects from a practitioner’s perspective. Real-life experiences are presented as case-specific praxis, theoretically informed insight, and pragmatic lessons-learned, grounded in the history of this field of development practice. They reflect on work where economic determinism reigns supreme, yet project failure or success often hinges upon sociopolitical and cultural factors.

 

 

 

JAPANESE TOURISM
Spaces, Places and Structures
Carolin Funck and Malcolm Cooper

 

The changing patterns of Japanese tourism and the views of the Japanese tourist since the Meiji Restoration, in 1868, are given an in-depth historical, geographical, economic and social analysis in this book. As well as providing a case study for the purpose of investigating the changing face of global tourism from the 19th to the 21st Century, this account of Japanese tourism explores both domestic social relations and international geographical, political and economic relations, especially in the northeast Asian context. Socio-cultural and geographical analysis form the research framework for the book, in three ways: first, there is an emphasis on scale as tourism phenomena and their implications are discussed both in a global context and at the national, regional and local levels; second, the discussion is informed by primary data sources such as censuses and surveys; and third, the incorporation of fieldwork and case studies adds concreteness to the overall picture of Japanese tourism. This book is a significant addition to an area of study currently under-represented in the literature.

 

 

EDUCATION POLICY AND EQUAL OPPORTUNITY IN JAPAN
Akito Okada

 

In many societies today, educational aims or goals are commonly characterized in terms of “equality,” “equal opportunity,” “equal access” or “equal rights,” the underlying assumption being that “equality” in some form is an intelligible and sensible educational ideal. Yet, there are different views and lively debates about what sort of equality should be pursued; in particular, the issue of equality of educational opportunity has served as justification for much of the postwar restructuring of educational systems around the world. The author explores different interpretations of the concept of equality of educational opportunity in Japan, especially as applied to post-World War II educational policies. By focusing on the positions taken by key actors such as the major political parties, central administrative bodies, teachers’ unions, and scholars, he describes how their concepts have developed over time and in what way they relate to the making of educational policy, especially in light of Japan’s falling birthrate and aging society.

 

 

 

For a full list of titles please visit series webpage

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Pacific Perspectives: Studies of the European Society for Oceanists Series

Oceania is of enduring contemporary significance in global trajectories of history, politics, economy and ecology, and has remained influential for diverse approaches to studying and understanding human life worlds. The books published in this series explore Oceanic values and imaginations, documenting the unique position of the Pacific region – its cultural and linguistic diversity, its ecological and geographical distinctness, and always fascinating experiments with social formations. This series thus conveys the political, economic and moral alternatives that Oceania offers the contemporary world.

 

LIVING KINSHIP IN THE PACIFIC
Edited by Christina Toren and Simonne Pauwels

 

Unaisi Nabobo-Baba observed that for the various peoples of the Pacific, kinship is generally understood as “knowledge that counts.” It is with this observation that this volume begins, and it continues with a straightforward objective to provide case studies of Pacific kinship. In doing so, contributors share an understanding of kinship as a lived and living dimension of contemporary human lives, in an area where deep historical links provide for close and useful comparison. The ethnographic focus is on transformation and continuity over time in Fiji, Tonga, and Samoa with the addition of three instructive cases from Tokelau, Papua New Guinea, and Taiwan. The book ends with an account of how kinship is constituted in day-to-day ritual and ritualized behavior.

 

 

 

 

BELONGING IN OCEANIA
Movement, Place-Making and Multiple Identifications
Edited by Elfriede Hermann, Wolfgang Kempf and Toon van Meijl

 

Ethnographic case studies explore what it means to “belong” in Oceania, as contributors consider ongoing formations of place, self and community in connection with travelling, internal and international migration. The chapters apply the multi-dimensional concepts of movement, place-making and cultural identifications to explain contemporary life in Oceanic societies. The volume closes by suggesting that constructions of multiple belongings—and, with these, the relevant forms of mobility, place-making and identifications—are being recontextualized and modified by emerging discourses of climate change and sea-level rise.

 

 

 

PACIFIC FUTURES
Projects, Politics and Interests
Edited by Will Rollason

 

The Pacific region presents a huge diversity of cultural forms, which have fuelled some of the most challenging ethnographic work undertaken in the discipline. But this challenge has come at a cost. Culture, often reconfigured as ‘custom’, has often served to trap the people of the Pacific in the past of cultural reproduction, where everything is what it has always been, or worse—outdated, outmoded and destined for modernization.

Pacific Futures asks how our understanding of social life in the Pacific would be different if we approached it from the perspective of the futures which Pacific people dream of, predict or struggle to achieve, not the reproduction of cultural tradition. From Christianity to gambling, marriage to cargo cult, military coups to reflections on childhood fishing trips, the contributors to this volume show how Pacific people are actively shaping their lives with the future in mind.

 

For a full list of titles please visit series webpage. 

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ASAO Studies in Pacific Anthropology Series

The Association for Social Anthropology in Oceania (ASAO) is an international organization dedicated to studies of Pacific cultures, societies, and histories. This series publishes monographs and thematic collections on topics of global and comparative significance, grounded in anthropological fieldwork in Pacific locations.

 

THE POLYNESIAN ICONOCLASM
Religious Revolution and the Seasonality of Power
Jeffrey Sissons

 

Within little more than ten years in the early nineteenth century, inhabitants of Tahiti, Hawaii and fifteen other closely related societies destroyed or desecrated all of their temples and most of their god-images. In the aftermath of the explosive event, which Sissons terms the Polynesian Iconoclasm, hundreds of architecturally innovative churches — one the size of two football fields — were constructed. At the same time, Christian leaders introduced oppressive laws and courts, which the youth resisted through seasonal displays of revelry and tattooing. Seeking an answer to why this event occurred in the way that it did, this book introduces and demonstrates an alternative “practice history” that draws on the work of Marshall Sahlins and employs Bourdieu’s concepts of habitus, improvisation and practical logic.

 

 

 

 

CREATING A NATION WITH CLOTH
Women, Wealth, and Tradition in the Tongan Diaspora
Ping-Ann Addo

 

Tongan women living outside of their island homeland create and use hand-made, sometimes hybridized, textiles to maintain and rework their cultural traditions in diaspora. Central to these traditions is an ancient concept of homeland or nation— fonua—which Tongans retain as an anchor for modern nation-building. Utilizing the concept of the “multi-territorial nation,” the author questions the notion that living in diaspora is mutually exclusive with authentic cultural production and identity. The globalized nation the women build through gifting their barkcloth and fine mats, challenges the normative idea that nations are always geographically bounded or spatially contiguous. The work suggests that, contrary to prevalent understandings of globalization, global resource flows do not always primarily involve commodities. Focusing on first-generation Tongans in New Zealand and the relationships they forge across generations and throughout the diaspora, the book examines how these communities centralize the diaspora by innovating and adapting traditional cultural forms in unprecedented ways.

 

 

Forthcoming in Paperback! 

THE DEATH OF THE BIG MEN AND THE RISE OF THE BIG SHOTS
Custom and Conflict in East New Britain
Keir Martin

 

In 1994, the Pacific island village of Matupit was partially destroyed by a volcanic eruption. This study focuses on the subsequent reconstruction and contests over the morality of exchanges that are generative of new forms of social stratification. Such new dynamics of stratification are central to contemporary processes of globalization in the Pacific, and more widely. Through detailed ethnography of the transactions that a displaced people entered into in seeking to rebuild their lives, this book analyses how people re-make sociality in an era of post-colonial neoliberalism without taking either the transformative power of globalization or the resilience of indigenous culture as its starting point. It also contributes to the understanding of the problems of post-disaster reconstruction and development projects.

 

 

For a full selection of titles please visit series webpage. 

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Also see:

 

TRAPPED IN THE GAP
Doing Good in Indigenous Australia
Emma Kowal

 

In Australia, a ‘tribe’ of white, middle-class, progressive professionals is actively working to improve the lives of Indigenous people. This book explores what happens when well-meaning people, supported by the state, attempt to help without harming. ‘White anti-racists’ find themselves trapped by endless ambiguities, contradictions, and double binds — a microcosm of the broader dilemmas of postcolonial societies. These dilemmas are fueled by tension between the twin desires of equality and difference: to make Indigenous people statistically the same as non-Indigenous people (to ‘close the gap’) while simultaneously maintaining their ‘cultural’ distinctiveness. This tension lies at the heart of failed development efforts in Indigenous communities, ethnic minority populations and the global South. This book explains why doing good is so hard, and how it could be done differently.

 

 

PROTESTS, LAND RIGHTS, AND RIOTS
Postcolonial Struggles in Australia in the 1980s
Barry Morris

 

The 1970s saw the Aboriginal people of Australia struggle for recognition of their postcolonial rights. Rural communities, where large Aboriginal populations lived, were provoked as a consequence of social fragmentation, unparalleled unemployment, and other major economic and political changes. The ensuing riots, protests, and law-and-order campaigns in New South Wales captured the tense relations that existed between indigenous people, the police, and the criminal justice system. In Protests, Land Rights, and Riots, Barry Morris shows how neoliberal policies in Australia targeted those who were least integrated socially and culturally, and who enjoyed fewer legitimate economic opportunities. Amidst intense political debate, struggle, and conflict, new forces were unleashed as a post-settler colonial state grappled with its past. Morris provides a social analysis of the ensuing effects of neoliberal policy and the way indigenous rights were subsequently undermined by this emerging new political orthodoxy in the 1990s.

 

THE LEGACIES OF A HAWAIIAN GENERATION
From Territorial Subject to American Citizen
Judith Schachter

 

Through the voices and perspectives of the members of an extended Hawaiian family, or `ohana, this book tells the story of North American imperialism in Hawai`i from the Great Depression to the new millennium. The family members offer their versions of being “Native Hawaiian” in an American state, detailing the ways in which US laws, policies, and institutions made, and continue to make, an impact on their daily lives. The book traces the ways that Hawaiian values adapted to changing conditions under a Territorial regime and then after statehood. These conditions involved claims for land for Native Hawaiian Homesteads, education in American public schools, military service, and participation in the Hawaiian cultural renaissance. Based on fieldwork observations, kitchen table conversations, and talk-stories, or mo`olelo, this book is a unique blend of biography, history, and anthropological analysis.

 

 

PERFORMING PLACE, PRACTISING MEMORIES
Aboriginal Australians, Hippies and the State
Rosita Henry

 

During the 1970s a wave of ‘counter-culture’ people moved into rural communities in many parts of Australia. This study focuses in particular on the town of Kuranda in North Queensland and the relationship between the settlers and the local Aboriginal population, concentrating on a number of linked social dramas that portrayed the use of both public and private space. Through their public performances and in their everyday spatial encounters, these people resisted the bureaucratic state but, in the process, they also contributed to the cultivation and propagation of state effects.

 

 

 

NAVIGATING COLONIAL ORDERS
Norwegian Entrepreneurship in Africa and Oceania
Edited by Kirsten Alsaker Kjerland and Bjørn Enge Bertelsen

 

Norwegians in colonial Africa and Oceania had varying aspirations and adapted in different ways to changing social, political and geographical circumstances in foreign, colonial settings. They included Norwegian shipowners, captains, and diplomats; traders and whalers along the African coast and in Antarctica; large-scale plantation owners in Mozambique and Hawai’i; big business men in South Africa; jacks of all trades in the Solomon Islands; timber merchants on Zanzibar’ coffee farmers in Kenya; and King Leopold’s footmen in Congo. This collection reveals narratives of the colonial era that are often ignored or obscured by the national histories of former colonial powers. It charts the entrepreneurial routes chosen by various Norwegians and the places they ventured, while demonstrating the importance of recognizing the complicity of such “non-colonial colonials” for understanding the complexity of colonial history.

 

 

Visit our webpage for a full list of titles on Asia-Pacific