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Volda-Griffith Austral-Asian Study Immersion Program 2010

Volda-Griffith Austral-Asian Study Immersion Program 2010

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Volda-Griffith Austral-Asian Study Immersion Program 2010

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  1. Volda-Griffith Austral-Asian Study Immersion Program 2010 • An Overview of Asia • Wayne Muller • Griffith University • 13th September 2010

  2. Presentation Structure • Five Sections: (1) “Defining ‘Asia’, and issues of cultural perspective.” (2) Geography, demography ethnography, and ecological aspects of ‘Asia’. (3) The traditional legacies of Asia. (4) Colonialism, imperialism and nationalism in Asia. (5) The characteristics of modernisation and globalisation in Asia.

  3. Section 1 • “Defining ‘Asia’, and issues of cultural perspective.”

  4. Section Structure • (1) Defining “Asia” geographically- the concept of “many Asias”. • (2) Defining “Asia” historically- the concept of “Orientalism”. • (3) Defining “Asia”- dealing with stereotypes. • (4) The concept of “cultural perspective”. • (5) Some commonly claimed “Asian perspectives/ values”. • (6) “Asian perceptions” of Australia.

  5. (1) Defining “Asia” geographically- the concept of “many Asias”. • (1) Boundaries of Asia- clear cut and blurred?

  6. (2) Enormity/ diversity of Asia. • Knight Reading 1

  7. (3) Sub regions of Asia.

  8. (4) Geographical reality or term of convenience?

  9. (5) “Many Asias”- • Diversity within Asia and within Asian countries • Change and the modernisation/ westernisation debate

  10. (2) Defining “Asia” historically- the concept of “Orientalism”. • (A) Edward Said’s Thesis: • “The West defined the East in order to colonise and dominate it.”

  11. (B) Some definitions of “Orientalism” • (1) ".........The European vision of all Eastern peoples as exotic, remote, inferior, and subject to the political, military, economic, cultural, and sexual dominance of the west". (Broinowski:1992:2) • (Some Australian manifestations of “Orientalism”- Paranoia/ White Australia/ racist cartoons.)

  12. (2) "......that powerful past image of Asia as poor, military, threatening and exotic has been replaced by a new, just as simple yet ambivalent image of Asia as rich (and also poor). An Asia beckoning us simultaneously with economic opportunities; and still exotic". (Viviani:1990:2)

  13. (3) "The east contemplated the forest; the west counted the trees. ...................The mind that knows the trees andthe forest is a new mind".(Ferguson:1987:87)

  14. (3) Defining “Asia”- dealing with stereotypes • (1) Stereotypes- the need to generalise? • (2) Classifying stereotypes, for example: • Romantic stereotypes • Repugnant stereotypes • Realistic stereotypes ( de Souza 1992: 6) • (3) Analysing and challenging stereotypes. • Eg “All Asians look alike”.

  15. (4) The concept of “cultural perspective”. • Concepts of 'World View'/ Core Values/ Attitudes/ Perceptions/ etc • Importance of 'Reality Constructors' • Ethnocentrism: The subjectivity of 'Common Sense‘ (eg the grasshopper) • The Emic and the Etic Perspectives *****

  16. Strengths, weaknesses and paradoxes in all societies • Problem of making moral judgments from our perspective- “In order to know the other, one must other the known.” • “Cultural Relativism” versus “Moral Relativism” (Evans: Reading 2) • Case study of “Education” from multiple perspectives (Milner and Quilty: Reading 3)

  17. (4) The concept of “cultural perspective”- some examples. • (1) "I think, therefore I am". • (Individualism) western? • (2) ”I am because we are and we are because I am". • (Group oriented) Oriental? Traditional? • Or • (1) Western dichotomy. • E.G. Male......................Female • (2) Eastern dualism/ holism. • E.G. Yang......................Yin

  18. (5) Some commonly claimed “Asian perspectives/ values”. • (1) “The Good Society” • Harmony/ order • (Contrasted with Western notions of “freedom”) • Hierarchy • (Contrasted with Western notions of “egalitarianism”) • within Asia • within one society • gender based • sources of the concept

  19. Group identity • (Contrasted with Western individualism) • "Strong" leadership • (Contrasted with Western aversion to“authoritarianism”) • Respect • (Knowing one's proper place)

  20. 5) Some commonly claimed “Asian perspectives/ values” (continued). • (2) “Behaviour Patterns” • Belief systems including a diversity of religions (c.f. “secular” Australia) • Core values of honour, face and shame • Formality and protocol • Hiding one's feelings • Don't give offence • Consensus decision making • Meeting deadlines

  21. (6) “Asian perceptions” of Australia. • Knowledge limitations (e.g. textbook stereotypes: the sheep farm, the beach and the tourist resort; media representations) • Lifestyle stereotypes (e.g. outdoors, beach, sport, BBQs) • Stereotypes of 'national characteristics' (e.g. friendly, relaxed, lazy, etc.) • Racism ('White Australia')

  22. (6) “Asian perceptions” of Australia (continued). • Our openness, directness and criticism of some Asian issues (e.g. human rights) are seen as rudeness and “white arrogance”. • Culturally immature • Puzzled by our 'national identity':-the flag and the head of state • Weak commitment to citizenship • Problems in business dealings (e.g. meeting deadlines) • A “mine” and a “beach”

  23. Section 2: Geography, demography ethnography, and ecological aspects of ‘Asia’

  24. GEOGRAPHY • Size and diversity • Physical characteristics/ plate tectonics • Regionalism • Mainland Asia/ peninsula Asia/ archipelago Asia • Rural Asia/ urban Asia • Desert Asia (hot and cold)/ equatorial Asia/ tropical Asia

  25. GEOGRAPHY (Continued) • The characteristics and importance of 'monsoon Asia’ • Riverine and coastal geographies • Hydro culture/ rice culture • Asia and 'natural disasters'

  26. The characteristics and importance of 'monsoon Asia’

  27. Riverine and coastal geographies

  28. Hydro culture/ rice culture

  29. Asia and 'natural disasters'

  30. Indian Ocean Earthquake and Tsunami 26th December 2004

  31. Tsunami Damage Sumatra

  32. Pakistan Floods August-September 2010