Southeast Asian Lives: Personal Narratives and Historical Experience

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Roxana Waterson
NUS Press, 2007 - Oral biography - 317 pages
Presents life stories of ordinary people in Southeast Asia. The authors who present these life stories are all anthropologists. Their narratives bear witness to fieldwork encounters that gave rise to close, long term friendships with the remarkable personalities whose lives are presented here, or with their families. The narratives illustrate the richness of life histories in revealing what it was like to go through the wrenching social adjustments that accompanied successive political transformations as Southeast Asia moved from colonialism through wartime occupation by the Japanese to the emergence of new nation states. By explaining the cultural and historical context of these highly personal, intimate accounts, the authors make them accessible to the widest possible audience and show what a fertile source such material can be for an anthropology that seeks to do justice to personal experience.

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