SOJOURN: Journal of Social Issues in Southeast Asia Vol. 35/1 (March 2020)

SOJOURN: Journal of Social Issues in Southeast Asia Vol. 35/1 (March 2020)
Su-Ann Oh, editor
Date of publication:  March 2020
Publisher:  ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute
Number of pages:  196
Code:  SJ35/1


  • SOJOURN: Journal of Social Issues in Southeast Asia Vol. 35/1 (March 2020)
    [Whole Publication, ISSN: 17932858]
  • Preliminary pages
  • A New Interpretation of Kongle’s Neutralist Coup in Laos, August 1960, by Sophie Sidwell, author
    The August 1960 coup led by Captain <i>Kongle</i> is generally regarded as a temporary discontinuity in Lao politics, a dramatic but failed attempt to revive neutrality for Laos. Accounts are largely based on French language sources, which are oriented towards the concerns of government and political elites. This article examines the popular Lao language press of the time, specifically the newspaper of the National Union Party, <i>Laorouamsamphan</i> (Lao Unity), edited by Bong Souvannavong, to enhance our understanding of the motivations for the coup and the nature of its populist appeal. It shows that the coup was launched after years of widespread discussion of the Peace Through Neutrality programme of the Neutralists, a movement that elaborated a detailed Buddhist philosophy. The timing and demands of the coup committee were not therefore mysterious, but a response to quite specific hopes about how the newly independent Kingdom of Laos would move forward on its own terms.
  • “I Didn’t Learn Any Occupation, So I Trade”: Untold Stories of Transnational Entrepreneurial Experimentation in Northern Laos, by Simon Rowedder, author
    Amidst intensified regional cross-border infrastructural and economic connectivity, northern Laos has witnessed an increasing number of small-scale retailers from diverse backgrounds aspiring to partake in the trade of Chinese and Thai commodities. However, their individual entrepreneurial trajectories have not been given serious scholarly attention. One reason for this could be their own discursive downplaying of their actions, stressing the smallness and insignificance of their endeavours. However, putting their self-deprecating narratives at the centre of analysis reveals instances of entrepreneurial success paired with a considerable degree of transnational knowledge, experience and skills. Their struggle to locate their work within the rigid occupational environment of post-socialist Laos provides in turn the necessary room for their flexible and skilful economic experimentations.
  • Environmental Cultures in the Upper Mekong Basin: A Review of International Literature , by Ignasi Ribó, Fabio Calzolari, authors
    The transboundary region of the Upper Mekong basin (Chinese Yunnan, Northern Thailand, northern Laos, and northeastern Myanmar) is extraordinarily rich in ecological and cultural diversity. Ongoing processes of modernization, economic development and state centralization are rapidly transforming both traditional cultures and natural ecosystems throughout the region. For this article, we undertook a review of recent academic literature in English, German, Spanish, Italian and French about the ongoing changes in environmental cultures in this region. Specifically, our aim was to develop a comprehensive and critical understanding of the current state of international knowledge regarding the non-linear and place-based human-environment relationships and environmental identities in this part of the world. This research is important for cultural studies because it explores the effects of social and cultural changes on the capacity of human communities to sustain themselves and their environments. By examining a sample of 199 international contributions published since 1995 on relevant areas—such as the cultural aspects of sustainable management of natural resources, the political ecology of environmental conflicts between different cultural groups, and the role of traditional ecological knowledge, beliefs and practices in sustaining communities and their natural environments—our review identified key themes, debates and weaknesses that might be helpful in guiding future research about the environmental cultures of the region.
  • They Are ‘Asians Just Like Us’: Filipino Teachers, Colonial Aesthetics and English Language Education in Thailand , by Analiza Liezl Perez-Amurao, Sirijit Sunanta, authors
    Filipino teachers have become the largest group of foreign teachers in Thailand as English language education gains increasing importance in the kingdom. Their migratory experience, however, demonstrates that schools favour white native English speakers (NES) over them. Differential treatments of Filipino and white NES teachers in Thai schools are manifested overtly in the form of a pay gap and in more subtle micropolitics of bodily management. By examining a postcolonial view and the notion of English language teaching as aesthetic labour, Filipino teachers are found to face racialized and gendered discrimination in English language education in Thailand.
  • SOJOURN Symposium
  • On Home Is Not Here by Wang Gungwu , by Philip Holden, Anthony Reid, Khoo Boo Teik, authors
  • BOOK REVIEW: Elite Malay Polygamy: Wives, Wealth and Woes in Malaysia, by Miriam Koktvedgaard, by Maila Stivens, author
  • BOOK REVIEW: Las Vegas in Singapore: Violence, Progress and the Crisis of Nationalist Modernity, by Lee Kah-Wee, by John Clammer, author
  • BOOK REVIEW: Chinese Indonesians in Post-Suharto Indonesia: Democratisation and Ethnic Minorities, by Chong Wu-Ling, by Leo Suryadinata, author
  • BOOK REVIEW: Love, Money and Obligation: Transnational Marriage in a Northeastern Thai Village, by Patcharin Lapanun, by Erik Cohen, author
  • BOOK REVIEW: Traffic in Hierarchy: Masculinity and Its Others in Buddhist Burma, by Ward Keeler , by Bénédicte Brac de la Perrière, author
  • BOOK REVIEW: Everyday Economic Survival in Myanmar, by Ardeth Maung Thawnghmung , by Nursyazwani Jamaludin, author
  • Host Communities and Refugees in Southeast Asia: Report on a Workshop held at the National University of Singapore (NUS), 10–11 May 2019 , by Itty Abraham, author

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