SOJOURN: Journal of Social Issues in Southeast Asia Vol. 4/2 (Aug 1989)

SOJOURN: Journal of Social Issues in Southeast Asia Vol. 4/2 (Aug 1989)
Date of publication:  August 1989
Publisher:  Institute of Southeast Asian Studies
Number of pages:  164
Code:  SJ4/2


  • Preliminary pages
  • Exploring Individual Modernity in Sumatra, by Gordon P Means, author
    This article reports on a field research project involving the collection of data on social change and modernization among the Karo of Sumatra, Indonesia. The survey instrument included 113 variables, an Overall Modernization Index (as developed by Dr Alex Inkeles), an Animism Index, and five other indices. The study sought to determine dimensions of the ``survival of tradition" as well as other aspects of changes in belief, attitudes, behaviour, and social participation. A full random sample of adults was selected from twenty-one sites divided between highland, lowland, and urban settlements. The data reveals complex patterns of change with a tendency for traditional identities and social bonds to become stronger among those who are becoming more "modern" in matters of attitude, belief, education, and occupation. Yet, the range of variation is such that the data could not support most heuristic theories commonly used to explain individual behaviour and social change patterns in Third World countries.
  • The Role of Tamil Newspapers in Ethnic Cultural Continuity in Contemporary Malaysia, by Ranggasamy Karthigesu, author
    The Tamils form a distinct minority group in multiracial Malaysia enjoying political and economic participation in the country. However, nationalism and modernization have brought about an erosion, real and imagined, in the continuity of language, literature, and culture. Ethnic Tamil newspapers, which have always played a role in the cultural continuity of the community, are becoming increasingly assertive in such a role. This article provides a content analysis and the results of a readership survey of Tamil newspapers which underline the significance of the role played by Tamil newspapers. It concludes that while questions remain as to what this role ultimately means with regard to the merging of minority communities into the mainstream economy and society of Malaysia, the importance of Tamil newspapers in the preservation of Tamil ethnic continuity, and therefore cultural diversity in the country, is valued by the Tamil community.
  • Old Lamps for New: Recent Developments in Nusa Tenggara Timur, by R A F Paul Webb, author
    The Christian churches in Indonesia claim to serve the "whole person" through spiritual means, education, and socioeconomic development. In Nusa Tenggara Timur, eastern Indonesia, the majority of people are Christians, while the rest are "animists". The island of Flores has an overwhelming majority of Catholics, Timor of Protestants, while Sumba is mainly "animist" with minorities of Catholics and Protestants. Development projects by churches and provincial and central governments are often held up by custodians of tradition, to the detriment of farmers increased economic welfare. They are also hindered because they are imposed from above without proper consultation with those who are supposed to benefit from such development projects. Thus development often founders.
  • Urbanization and Economic Development in Burma, by Naing Oo, author
    Since British colonial rule in Burma, urban centres have emerged and grown. This has continued with independence in 1948. Urbanization has proceeded apace, first primarily because of rural-urban migration and then mainly because of natural growth in cities and towns, leading to a host of urban problems exacerbated by an ailing economy which has not permitted adequate levels of investment in, and development of, urban infrastructure. This article examines these issues in urbanization and economic development and concludes that long-term solutions to these problems can only be arrived at if population growth and urbanization are given sufficient attention in economic policies which must, necessarily, seek to restructure the economy. The urban future of Burma, otherwise, remains bleak.
  • Issues on Cordillera Autonomy: Notes on a Research Programme, by Steven Rood, author
  • The Semantics of Migration, by Diana Wong, author
    Public and social science discourse on international migration converge in the formulation of the "problem" in terms of a distinction between types of migrants on the basis of individual motivation, into "refugees" and "economic migrants", notwithstanding deep-seated differences as to who falls into which category and how the categories are to be defined. In this paper, an attempt is made to shift the focus away from problems of definition to an analysis of the discourses generated over international migration. The emergence of the terms "refugee" and "immigrant" is examined, and a plea made for a more stringent delineation of the refugee condition.
  • BOOK REVIEW: From Class to Culture: Social Conscience in Malay Novels since Independence. Edited by David J Banks., by Virginia Hooker, author
  • BOOK REVIEW: Heaven in Transition: Non-Muslim Religious Innovation and Ethnic Identity in Malaysia. Edited by Susan E Ackerman and Raymond L M Lee., by Trevor O Ling, author
  • BOOK REVIEW: Indonesia: The Transmigration Program in Perspective. A World Bank Country Study., by Gerard Sullivan, author
  • BOOK REVIEW: The Real Imagined Role of Culture in Development: Case Studies from Indonesia. Edited by Michael R Dove., by Douglas Miles, author
  • Workshop on Southeast Asian Communities and Community Networks, 13-14 March 1989, Singapore; International Conference on Territorial Claims in the South China Sea, 4-6 December 1990, Hong Kong
  • Index to SOJOURN: Social Issues in Southeast Asia, vol. 4 (1989)

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