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Modalities of Change: The Interface of Tradition and Modernity in East Asia

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Modalities of Change

The Interface of Tradition and Modernity in East Asia

Edited by James Wilkerson and Robert Parkin

262 pages, 18 illus., 23 tables, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-0-85745-568-0 $135.00/£99.00 / Hb / Published (October 2012)

eISBN 978-0-85745-571-0 eBook


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Description

While in some cases modernity may dominate 'traditional' forms of expression, in others, the modern is embraced as a welcome source of new ideas that can modify 'tradition' while still keeping it within its own bounds. Maintaining a strong and distinct cultural identity with the help of modernity helps representatives of that identity cope with the modern world more generally. By contrast, assimilation to a dominant culture marked as modern is clearly associated with not only the loss of a distinct identity, but also its specific forms of cultural expression. This book explores the consequences of the interface between modernity and tradition in selected societies in Taiwan, mainland China and Vietnam. The contributors examine how traditions are themselves exploiting modernity in creative ways, in the interests of their own further cultural developments, and to what extent this approach is likely to help a tradition survive.

James Wilkerson is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the Institute of Anthropology, National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan. He received his PhD degree in anthropology from the University of Virginia. He has conducted research on religion, kinship and social history in the Penghu Islands, Taiwan and in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, People’s Republic of China.

Robert Parkin is a Departmental Lecturer in Social Anthropology at the University of Oxford. He has also taught at the University of Kent at Canterbury, Oxford Brookes University and the Free University of Berlin. His main thematic interests are in kinship, religion and symbolism, ethnicity, nationalism and regional identity and the history of French anthropology, on all of which he has published extensively.

Subject: Anthropology (General)
Area: Asia-Pacific


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