Crawford House Publishing
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 themselves.

Written in an accessible and informative way, this is a book for all Australians who want to think about Asia.


Nick Knight


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Portrait; softcover; vi + 334 pages


215 x 135 mm



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