Thinking About Asia An Australian Introduction to East and Southeast Asia|
The East and Southeast Asian region is of immense economic,
strategic and cultural significance to Australia. It has also been important in defining
Australia’s national identity, and is the origin of many of Australia’s immigrants.
Australians therefore need to have some knowledge of this region, and to be able
to think about it in an informed way. They need to do so not only to understand the
region in which they live, but also to understand themselves better. Through studying
Asia, Australians can gain a clearer perception of their own society and who they
are as a people. This book facilitates this process by providing comparisons between
Asian and Australian societies.
The reader is also invited to think about Asia and Australia in the context of a number
of seminal debates in the disciplines of the social sciences and history. These include
the nature of tradition and modernity, change to the family and religion, the role of
colonialism and nationalism in social change, nation-building, economic development,
international politics, globalisation, and democracy and human rights. Each of these
debates is illustrated by reference to East and Southeast Asia and Australia. The book
is organised thematically, and a mass of factual information on each of the themes
is provided. Also provided are ways of thinking which allow the reader to arrive at a
personal response to conflicting interpretations of the information.
The final chapter examines Australia’s troubled relationship with Asia, and looks
at the way in which Asia, through trade and immigration, has become an increasingly
important feature of Australian society. It challenges the reader to consider the
role of Asia in defining Australia as a nation, and in the way Australians perceive
Written in an accessible and informative way, this is a book for all Australians
who want to think about Asia.
Portrait; softcover; vi + 334 pages
215 x 135 mm