House of Glass: Culture, Modernity, and the State in Southeast Asia
Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 2001 - Social Science - 342 pages
Drawing on critical theory and post-modernism, this book argues for a new strategy for writing about the social and cultural experiences of living in modern Southeast Asian states. Contributors -- many of whom work in universities in the region -- question the processes of cultural transformation under conditions of globalization and rapid economic and political change. By paying attention to the specificity of what is taking place in the particular state, the book questions the conventional narratives of developmentalism and state-sponsored national peace as they are understood in Southeast Asia, and shows how such understanding can be made and unmade.
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A truly brilliant collection of analysis and insight. As an Iranian writer with academic background I am quite familiar with "post colonial" critiques of modernization but I believe this book, and Yao himself in this and other books, bring a clarity and wide and multidisciplinary learning that is missing from most works on the question of modernity and modernization in the Middle East. The title of "glass house" is totally on the mark: orientalism and the reaction to it ("occidental ism," "westoxication") are both glass houses.
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