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  • 1. Badhwar, Ingvild
    The Elephant-shaped Hole in the Universe:: A literary analysis of Arundhati Roy's The God of Small Things2016In: Asia in Focus: A Nordic journal on Asia by early career researchers, ISSN 2446-0001, no 3, p. 4-12Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this essay, I read Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things as a melodrama in order to explore the relationship between the subaltern and the world of everyday life. I draw upon Spivak’s conception of the subaltern, her lack of voice and location within both everyday life and the narrative of history. I argue that the main character, Ammu—not speaking the language of everyday life, yet desperately desiring to express herself—is forced to resort to melodramatics, bolstering her incomprehensibility and leaving her even more isolated. I discuss the relationship between post-colonial studies, melodrama, everyday language, skepticism, innocence and knowledge, representations, and the subaltern’s opportunity to regain her voice in order to tell her own story.

  • 2. Björkhagen, Martin
    From Communal War to Peaceful Coexistence:: The Influence of Adat Culture in North Maluku, Indonesia2017In: Asia in Focus: A Nordic journal on Asia by early career researchers, ISSN 2446-0001, no 4, p. 6-17Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article examines how adat culture influenced peace-building and reconciliation efforts in North Maluku Province (NMP), Indonesia. This province was plagued by communal conflict from 1999 to 2000 following the fall of President Suharto’s regime. Nonetheless, NMP stands out as a rare success story for its comparatively quick consolidation of peace and its bottom–up efforts to reconcile the community, which was divided along ethno-religious lines. In-depth interviews were conducted with local elite and expert actors, and the Reality Check Approach (RCA) was used to explore the emic perspective of villagers at the grassroots level. An important key to the successful peace-building was that both the elite actors in regency government and most people at the grassroots level were united in their efforts to use a reinvigorated adat culture to reconcile the communities. In addition, minority groups and migrants were largely included and standard top-down attempts at reconciliation were absent, as most international organisations also promoted the local initiatives. The level of reconciliation does not, however, extend further than peaceful coexistence, partly because issues of culpability remain taboo in NMP. To achieve thorough reconciliation, the former conflicting parties would need to assume responsibility for wrongdoing and follow it up with forgiveness.

  • 3. Eerolainen, Leena
    Oh the horror!: Genre and the fantastic mode in Japanese cinema2016In: Asia in Focus: A Nordic journal on Asia by early career researchers, ISSN 2446-0001, no 3, p. 36-45Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Ever since the emergence of the so-called J-horror in the late 1990s and early 21st century, Japanese horror cinema has been a staple of both Japanese studies and film studies. Researchers, critics and film directors alike have been keen to observe and analyze the popularity and roots of the phenomenon. While many previous studies work extremely well on a detailed case-study level, there are many moments of confusion related to the general understanding of what horror actually is. My aim in this essay is to point out the various contradictions and differing opinions and, ultimately, to propose that we take an alternative outlook altogether. I suggest we approach the subject matter from the viewpoint of the fantastic, which I see as a mode visible in various genres including but not limited to, horror. This will position Japanese horror cinema as one element within the long tradition of fantastic representations in Japanese (popular) culture, both offering a new approach to old works and introducing new works as interesting analyzable content.

  • 4. Førde, Kristin Engh
    "Good Work for Good Mothers":: Commercial Surrogate Motherhood, Femininity and Morality2016In: Asia in Focus: A Nordic journal on Asia by early career researchers, ISSN 2446-0001, no Special Issue, p. 5-13Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Based on ethnographic fieldwork among women acting as commercial surrogates in Mumbai, India, this paper explores how the surrogates motivated and made meaningful their decision to enter surrogacy. I challenge at once the neoliberal image of commercial surrogacy as a “win-win” situation that portrays surrogacy as the pursuit of individual self-interest by autonomous actors and gives a simplistic notion of surrogates as hapless victims of global capitalist “exploitation”. I argue that the women engaged in active and conscious decision processes, negotiating and reconceptualising surrogate motherhood and motherhood in general with reference to key aspects of traditional gender relations and feminine morality, such as submissiveness, sexual virtue and self-sacrifice. As such, commercial surrogacy exemplifies how globalisation contributes to new understandings and conceptualisations of gender and family, yet still in close dialogue with local gendered power relations and ideology.

  • 5. Hansen, Arve
    Motorbike Madness?: Development and Two-Wheeled Mobility in Hanoi2015In: Asia in Focus: A Nordic journal on Asia by early career researchers, ISSN 2446-0001, no 2, p. 5-13Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Four million motorbikes navigate the narrow streets of Hanoi, having close to completely replaced the bicycle as a means of transport. This paper approaches the ‘motorbike revolution’ in Vietnam in general and Hanoi in particular at the intersection between political economy and everyday practices. It discusses how regional economic integration following the market reforms known as doi moi has facilitated the surge in motorbike ownership, as well as how this has materialised through everyday mobility practices in Hanoi. The paper argues that, given a context of lacking transport alternatives, the motorbike must be understood through its unique use value. Furthermore, the motorbike can be considered the main reason that the streets of Hanoi are not in a perpetual state of gridlock. Thus, the paper argues that while the high number of motorbikes brings along many challenges, the situation would deteriorate significantly if the millions of motorbikes are to be replaced by their emerging competitor, the private automobile.

  • 6. Helgesen, Geir
    Introduction2015In: Asia in Focus: A Nordic journal on Asia by early career researchers, ISSN 2446-0001, no 1, p. 1-1Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 7. Helland, Gudrun Cecilie E.
    To Stand on Her Own Two Feet:: Women Empowerment at the Grassroots in Delhi2016In: Asia in Focus: A Nordic journal on Asia by early career researchers, ISSN 2446-0001, no Special Issue, p. 32-42Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The essay explores what the ubiquitous concept of (women) empowerment looks like in a state-civil society partnership development programme in Delhi at the grassroots level. The Mission Convergence Programme (MCP) was initiated in 2008, at a time when ambitions of transforming Delhi into a world-class city ran rampant through the governing bodies. Neoliberal ideals and targets have influenced urban governance in Delhi, and this essay sheds light on how this might affect social security projects aimed at the population of female urban poor. I achieve this by conceptualising the term empowerment, both on the global stage as well as in the Indian context, and then elucidate the Mission Convergence Programme and how it was received and used by the target group, namely urban poor women. Using data from of a qualitative study carried out in 2012, I find that the realities of daily life, gender roles and societal values affect the implementation of empowerment objectives in development programmes in Delhi.

  • 8. Hennessey, John
    Creating a Colonial Consciousness?: Reflections on Audience Reception at the Tokyo Colonization Exposition of 19122015In: Asia in Focus: A Nordic journal on Asia by early career researchers, ISSN 2446-0001, no 2, p. 15-24Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    It is well-recognized in historical scholarship that in both Japan and the West, expositions were an important site for the dissemination of colonial propaganda in the decades surrounding the turn of the twentieth century. Nevertheless, the question of how colonial themes were perceived and understood by visitors to these events remains largely unanswered in this literature. Through an examination of the Colonization Exposition [Takushoku hakurankai] that was held in Tokyo in 1912, this essay reflects on the question of audience reception, or how media texts both influence and are interpreted by their consumers. Using a previously unexamined contemporary magazine article that describes visitor reactions, it argues that the messages that the organizers of this exposition intended to send were interpreted in diverse ways by the viewing public, ranging from acceptance to rejection. The discussion centers on notions of dignified public education, human exhibits and the methodological difficulties involved in determining media reception from historical documents.

  • 9. Ilkjær, Helene
    Reluctant Returnees:: Gender Perspectives on (Re) settlement Among Highly Skilled Indian Return Migrants in Bangalore2016In: Asia in Focus: A Nordic journal on Asia by early career researchers, ISSN 2446-0001, no Special Issue, p. 23-31Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Taking its point of departure in the personal story of Nalini, this article examines highly skilled Indian women’s experiences of moving back to India after years of working and living with their families abroad. The article touches on themes of gender relations, family commitments, career opportunities, and social and cultural conservatism within the context of recent waves of return migration to Bangalore, a prominent hub in the imaginary of a “new” globalising India. Tracing Nalini’s story in and out of states of depression, the article points to ways in which returnee women find their own, at times, unexpected ways of dealing with the upheavals of return migration.

  • 10. Ilpala, Aleksi
    Six years without constitution: The dampened expectations for Nepalese democracy2015In: Asia in Focus: A Nordic journal on Asia by early career researchers, ISSN 2446-0001, no 1, p. 39-44Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article peers into the anxieties of the democratic process in post-conflict Nepal. Today, while the recent elections gave Nepal’s politicians a new mandate to finish the constitution-drafting process, the negotiations surrounding the troubled issue continue. Despite the established formal democratic institutions and procedures, authoritarian legacies and pre-democratic political practices, values and attitudes co-exist with the new democratic establishment with negative consequences for governmental stability. The article shows how the existing Nepalese political culture reflects a contradictory mix of deference to senior leaders, but also distrust of their authority, and a culture of confrontation rather than compromise.

  • 11.
    Ilpala, Aleksi
    University of Helsinki.
    Six years without constitution: The dampened expectations for Nepalese democracy2015In: Asia in Focus: A Nordic journal on Asia by early career researchers, ISSN 2446-0001, no 1, p. 39-44Article in journal (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This article peers into the anxieties of the democratic process in post-conflict Nepal. Today, while the recent elections gave Nepal’s politicians a new mandate to finish the constitution-drafting process, the negotiations surrounding the troubled issue continue. Despite the established formal democratic institutions and procedures, authoritarian legacies and pre-democratic political practices, values and attitudes co-exist with the new democratic establishment with negative consequences for governmental stability. The article shows how the existing Nepalese political culture reflects a contradictory mix of deference to senior leaders, but also distrust of their authority, and a culture of confrontation rather than compromise.

  • 12. Jiang, Junxin
    Rightful Resistance through Public Interest Litigation in China2015In: Asia in Focus: A Nordic journal on Asia by early career researchers, ISSN 2446-0001, no 1, p. 13-21Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article discusses the rightful resistance in the form of public interest litigation (PIL) in China from three aspects, including broader public involvement with urbanites at the forefront, challenging the government and state-owned monopolies, and an alternative channel for rights claims and public participation. The paper argues that PIL is a rightful resistance under the authoritarian regime in which Chinese people are making use of the law and judicial system to fight against rights infringement and make their voices heard.

  • 13.
    Jiang, Junxin
    University of Turku.
    Rightful Resistance through Public Interest Litigation in China2015In: Asia in Focus: A Nordic journal on Asia by early career researchers, ISSN 2446-0001, no 1, p. 13-21Article in journal (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This article discusses the rightful resistance in the form of public interest litigation (PIL) in China from three aspects, including broader public involvement with urbanites at the forefront, challenging the government and state-owned monopolies, and an alternative channel for rights claims and public participation. The paper argues that PIL is a rightful resistance under the authoritarian regime in which Chinese people are making use of the law and judicial system to fight against rights infringement and make their voices heard.

  • 14. Kaur, Ravinder
    Introduction2015In: Asia in Focus: A Nordic journal on Asia by early career researchers, ISSN 2446-0001, no 2, p. 3-3Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 15. Krul, Kees
    Preserving Bang Krachao’s Green Space through Agriculture2015In: Asia in Focus: A Nordic journal on Asia by early career researchers, ISSN 2446-0001, no 2, p. 25-34Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Urban sprawl brings about considerable changes in the peripheral areas of the city. Rich in many vegetation types, mangrove forests, and agricultural plots, Bang Krachao is one of the largest remaining green areas in the proximity of Bangkok. This area is currently under threat as Bangkok’s urban sprawl has not gone without effect in Bang Krachao: green areas are diminishing due to an increased developmental interest in the area together with a growing number of residents. This essay examines the role of the agricultural sector in persevering the remaining green spaces by employing a SWOT-analysis. Findings show that despite a number of weaknesses and threats, there are several important opportunities the sector can capitalize on. Corresponding initiatives are suggested that help to preserve the remaining green spaces and at the same time enhance Bang Krachao’s agriculture sector. Without new initiatives to reverse urban sprawl, it is likely that the ‘green lung of Bangkok’ will be filled with more concrete and asphalt.

  • 16. Lehmann, Jonathan Faarborg
    et al.
    Rungby, Asmus
    Perspectives on Paradise:: Reconsidering the Development of Tourism in Southeast Asia through the Case of Nusa Lembongan, Indonesia2017In: Asia in Focus: A Nordic journal on Asia by early career researchers, ISSN 2446-0001, no 4, p. 18-25Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Based on ethnographic fieldwork on the island of Nusa Lembongan, this paper explores how the emergence of tourist industries influences the local population. Although this kind of development can be found in most of Southeast Asia, this paper analyses ethnographic material from the small island of Nusa Lembongan to argue that the power relationship between foreign guests and local hosts is asymmetrical because it takes place within an unequal, capitalist world system. The morality, globality, and inequality of tourism is at the centre of attention. In this paper, then, we contribute to the ongoing debate on tourism and development by ethnographically situating global tourism in the context of Nusa Lembongan and by showing how the relationship between tourists and locals can be challenging for both sides. The paper argues against reductive econocentric accounts of the impact of tourism as conducive to economic growth and in favour of a more nuanced conceptual model which accounts for interpersonal misrecognition, inequality, and global economic structures.

  • 17. Lohenoja, Camilla
    From subordination to "own work": Perceived life changes of former Haliya bonded labourers after their liberation2015In: Asia in Focus: A Nordic journal on Asia by early career researchers, ISSN 2446-0001, no 1, p. 31-38Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The article discusses the perceived life changes of former Haliya bonded labourers in Nepal after their liberation. It concentrates on the subjective perceptions of the labourers, a field that has had little attention in literature to date. Nineteen semi-structured, in-depth interviews of former Haliyas, were conducted in a rural village in Baitadi, Far-Western Nepal in the summer of 2013. These were then analysed, using qualitative content analysis. The paper is constructed on the concept of social status, more precisely subordination, and it suggests that diminishing subordination, such as caste discrimination, dependency and forcing, is more important in former bonded labourers’ lives than the lack of improvement in material benefits. Therefore it can be argued that the literature on bonded labour stresses too much the quantitative data and the meaning of material conditions, and fails to see the importance of the personal experience and improved social status as the most important change in their lives. This suggests that it might be useful to examine the importance of social status when tackling inequality questions as well.

  • 18.
    Lohenoja, Camilla
    University of Helsinki.
    From subordination to “own work”: Perceived life changes of former Haliya bonded labourers after their liberation2015In: Asia in Focus: A Nordic journal on Asia by early career researchers, ISSN 2446-0001, no 1, p. 31-38Article in journal (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The article discusses the perceived life changes of former Haliya bonded labourers in Nepal after their liberation. It concentrates on the subjective perceptions of the labourers, a field that has had little attention in literature to date. Nineteen semi-structured, in-depth interviews of former Haliyas, were conducted in a rural village in Baitadi, Far-Western Nepal in the summer of 2013. These were then analysed, using qualitative content analysis. The paper is constructed on the concept of social status, more precisely subordination, and it suggests that diminishing subordination, such as caste discrimination, dependency and forcing, is more important in former bonded labourers’ lives than the lack of improvement in material benefits. Therefore it can be argued that the literature on bonded labour stresses too much the quantitative data and the meaning of material conditions, and fails to see the importance of the personal experience and improved social status as the most important change in their lives. This suggests that it might be useful to examine the importance of social status when tackling inequality questions as well.

  • 19. Lundqvist, Martin
    Everyday conceptualizations of sustainable peace in Nepal: - post-liberal peace and beyond?2015In: Asia in Focus: A Nordic journal on Asia by early career researchers, ISSN 2446-0001, no 1, p. 45-52Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    By employing semi-structured interviews this article investigates the peacebuilding environment in Kathmandu, Nepal, with an eye in particular to capture everyday conceptualizations of sustainable peace, and to investigate whether these might contribute to more holistic peacebuilding approaches in the country. The article draws initial inspiration from the post-liberal peace framework put forth by Oliver Richmond, which problematizes the liberal peace model by highlighting its tendency to neglect the local context and needs, as well as its frequent reliance on top-down and technocratic measures. Instead, Richmond calls for peacebuilding approaches which are more holistic and sensitive to the everyday needs of inhabitants of post-conflict societies. It is found that the post-liberal peace approach largely corresponds to the manner in which the interlocutors of this article conceptualize sustainable peace, i.e. by highlighting everyday issues such as material improvements, social justice, and national political stability. However, the article concludes by arguing that there are also issues of practical concern with both the post-liberal peace framework and the manner in which sustainable peace is conceptualized by interlocutors in Kathmandu.

  • 20.
    Lundqvist, Martin
    Lund University.
    Everyday conceptualizations of sustainable peace in Nepal: post-liberal peace and beyond?2015In: Asia in Focus: A Nordic journal on Asia by early career researchers, ISSN 2446-0001, no 1, p. 45-52Article in journal (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    By employing semi-structured interviews this article investigates the peacebuilding environment in Kathmandu, Nepal, with an eye in particular to capture everyday conceptualizations of sustainable peace, and to investigate whether these might contribute to more holistic peacebuilding approaches in the country. The article draws initial inspiration from the post-liberal peace framework put forth by Oliver Richmond, which problematizes the liberal peace model by highlighting its tendency to neglect the local context and needs, as well as its frequent reliance on top-down and technocratic measures. Instead, Richmond calls for peacebuilding approaches which are more holistic and sensitive to the everyday needs of inhabitants of post-conflict societies. It is found that the post-liberal peace approach largely corresponds to the manner in which the interlocutors of this article conceptualize sustainable peace, i.e. by highlighting everyday issues such as material improvements, social justice, and national political stability. However, the article concludes by arguing that there are also issues of practical concern with both the post-liberal peace framework and the manner in which sustainable peace is conceptualized by interlocutors in Kathmandu.

  • 21. Molz, Erich
    Agenda or Accident?: Unraveling the 2014 Mass Exodus of Cambodian Migrant Workers from Thailand2015In: Asia in Focus: A Nordic journal on Asia by early career researchers, ISSN 2446-0001, no 2, p. 35-44Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In May 2014, Thailand saw its latest military coup d’état overthrow an elected government. Shortly after, approximately 250,000 Cambodian migrant workers fled from Thailand into their home country. In this essay, I examine possible rationales for the Thai military junta’s apparent cause of the mass exodus, by reviewing academic and media accounts and discussing them in light of actual Thai and Cambodian state behavior. I argue that the Thai junta attempted to consolidate its power among the Thai security forces themselves, on the one hand, and to fight human trafficking in order to improve Thailand’s fading international reputation on the other. The military junta had not foreseen the dramatic consequences of the announcement to arrest any illegal migrant workers and the few raids conducted by military personnel. However, in retrospect, the exodus proved very useful for the junta as it was able to turn previously irregular Cambodian migrant workers into a vast cheap legal workforce. As such, the military junta weakened the rivaling police force that had benefitted from the trafficking business and threatened the military’s power. The political divide in Thai society underlying this rivalry remains, nonetheless, unresolved.

  • 22. Nielsen, Kenneth Bo
    et al.
    Standal, Karina
    Waldrop, Anne
    Wilhite, Harold
    Editors’ Introduction2016In: Asia in Focus: A Nordic journal on Asia by early career researchers, ISSN 2446-0001, no Special Issue, p. 2-4Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 23. Nielsen, Sara Ellegaard
    et al.
    Standhart, Camilla Jane
    Myanmar Activists in the Making: Navigating in a Changing Political Landscape2015In: Asia in Focus: A Nordic journal on Asia by early career researchers, ISSN 2446-0001, no 2, p. 45-51Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Based on four months of anthropological fieldwork this article contributes to an understanding of the lives of Myanmar youth activists. The aim is to portray how this particular group of youth differs in their motivations and activist practices from previous generations. In taking action, the youth of our research draw on capacities for building individual knowledge and skills acquired during training provided by an INGO (international non-governmental organization). Through the theoretical concept of the trickster, we argue that these youths embody an ambiguous and mediating role when engaging in activism. We show how the youth navigate and challenge the social and cultural norms of present society. They do this by negotiating and bridging ideas of democracy and human rights to their communities in such a way that the ideas become socially accepted and translated into a local context. These youth do not want another revolution. They want profound development and consolidation.

  • 24. Nordfeldt, Cecilie
    "The Daughters-in-Law Have Become the Mothers-in-Law":: How New Forms of Capital Create Class Differences Within North-Indian Households2016In: Asia in Focus: A Nordic journal on Asia by early career researchers, ISSN 2446-0001, no Special Issue, p. 54-62Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The article explores how larger socio-economic transformations affect authority structures in rural households in the Indian Himalayan state of Uttarakhand, focusing particularly on women. It is based on 23 months of ethnographic fieldworks in 2002–3 and 2008–11. I argue that new forms of economic, cultural and social capital available to young women and men work together to create differences in terms of class within multi-generational households in such a way that some younger women may gain a stronger position in their marital home than women had before. While others have studied changes in women’s position as a result of their education—a new and valued form of cultural capital—this article sees women’s position also in connection with their husbands’ status and larger socio-economic changes. These remote communities are today woven into national and global job and commodity markets. While married women remain subsistence farmers in their husbands’ village, men often migrate, in search of waged work. Men who succeed professionally can marry more attractive wives, and a girl’s education contributes highly to her attractiveness. Such women obtain authority not only based on their education, but also on their connection to respected husbands, as the couple may realise new capital possibilities unavailable to other household members.

  • 25. Petersen, Troels Kjems
    Beyond Historical Humiliations: New ways of understanding the significant role of historical conflicts in Chinese history education2016In: Asia in Focus: A Nordic journal on Asia by early career researchers, ISSN 2446-0001, no 3, p. 14-24Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In recent years, various studies have taken on the task of examining history education in Mainland China. However, within this field of study there has been a tendency not to include classroom observations as empirical data on the grounds that history classes in China are so heavily dictated by curriculum stipulations that it is sufficient to analyze the textbook material in order to understand Chinese history education. In this article, I present research results which refute this statement and show that there are differences to be found between the content of the textbook and the reality of classroom sessions in China. Based on four months of classroom observations in China, I present how historical conflicts play a much larger and more profound role in the narration of the Chinese past in the classroom than in the textbook. Furthermore, I demonstrate how my observations show that conflicts other than the struggle with Western imperialism are emphasized in class – most notably the Cultural Revolution – which indicates that the narration of the past in Chinese history classes is about more than promoting anti-Western sentiment and presenting a grand narrative of ‘national humiliation’ to the students.

  • 26. Sareen, Siddhart
    et al.
    Manuel, Celie
    Uphill Tasks Within Kumaon Himalayan Communities:: Multi-dimensional Gendered Inequalities in Everyday Life2016In: Asia in Focus: A Nordic journal on Asia by early career researchers, ISSN 2446-0001, no Special Issue, p. 43-53Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper contributes an ethnographically informed understanding of multi-dimensional inequalities in rural mountainous communities through a gender lens that focuses on the roles women perform as biologically, culturally, economically and geographically marginalised actors. It is based on a four-month study in a rain-fed agricultural region of the Kumaon Himalayas, and spans two districts of the Indian state of Uttarakhand with different farming profiles. The study employs qualitative methods to examine the impact of globalisation on women within changing rural contexts, identifying several crosscutting gender-related issues. Data analysis follows a grounded theory approach and reveals sets of intersecting inequalities which disadvantage these women, who are in vulnerable circumstances, through processes of globalisation that work in an exclusionary manner. By explaining these inequalities in a situated manner while emphasising their multi-dimensional nature, we present a nuanced account of women’s roles in these changing rural societies, and thus foreground the material conditions of gender difference in everyday life.

  • 27. Sareen, Siddharth
    Editorial Introduction2016In: Asia in Focus: A Nordic journal on Asia by early career researchers, ISSN 2446-0001, no 3, p. 2-3Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 28. Savinetti, Nicol Foulkes
    Letter from the Editor2015In: Asia in Focus: A Nordic journal on Asia by early career researchers, ISSN 2446-0001, no 2, p. 1-1Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 29. Savinetti, Nicol Foulkes
    et al.
    Blomkvist, Inga-Lill
    Lindholm, Christer Kold
    Kirkegaard, Julia Kirch
    Grünberg, Nis
    Nielsen, Kitt Plinia
    Raju, Emmanuel
    Corlin, Mai
    Zabiliute, Emilija
    Juego, Bonn
    Nielsen, Kenneth Bo
    Publishing with Asia in Focus:: Insights and Advice from the Editors2017In: Asia in Focus: A Nordic journal on Asia by early career researchers, ISSN 2446-0001, no 4, p. 2-5Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 30. Standal, Karina
    The Globalising Effects of Solar Energy Access on Family and Gender Relations in Rural India2016In: Asia in Focus: A Nordic journal on Asia by early career researchers, ISSN 2446-0001, no Special Issue, p. 14-22Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper discusses the effects of energy access, in the form of newly implemented solar energy, on the dynamics of gender and family in rural Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand. India has seen a remarkable transformation into an emerging economic power in recent years which has brought change also to political, cultural and social relations in society, thus bringing India ‘closer’ to the rest of the world. These globalising effects often related through media and communication are contingent on access to energy. The global access provided by the implementation of electricity provides challenges to local norms and hierarchies of community, family and gender. Still, India’s institution of family is depicted by counter discourses, as being made of a ‘different fabric’ upholding traditional Hindu gendered culture and values. By exploring the everyday life of three informants—a young bahu (daughter-in-law), a young educated bachelor, and a self-help group leader in her 40s—this article illustrates that access to energy provided many important benefits, but at the same times the outcomes are not equally distributed and reinforce existing inequalities.

  • 31. Stopniece, Santa
    "Opportunities, but Nothing Very Concrete": The Challenge Finns Face with Chinese Delegations' General Level of Interest in Finland2015In: Asia in Focus: A Nordic journal on Asia by early career researchers, ISSN 2446-0001, no 1, p. 23-29Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper explores the challenge of finding common ground between the Finns and the Chinese in the context of co-operation, trade and inward investment facilitation related to general lack of specific interest displayed by the Chinese. The article is ethnographic in nature and is mainly based on data obtained from interviewing individuals working for local governments in Finland and one of the state agencies responsible for attracting foreign investment. The study uses Speech Codes Theory (Philipsen, 1997) when analyzing the cultural aspects of expectations regarding communication between Chinese and Finns. According to interviewees, lack of serious interest, vague government guidelines, the longer time needed to build relationship, and involvement of intermediaries all contribute to the difficulty to move the discussions to a more specific level of focus. Finnish expectations regarding this type of communication are that it should be direct and task-oriented, because they feel pressure to yield real results quickly and efficiently. Suggested strategies to make the co-operation talks more specific are presenting the expertise areas of Finland, clarification regarding too general terms used by the Chinese, and investing into building personal relationships with them.

  • 32.
    Stopniece, Santa
    University of Jyväskylä.
    “Opportunities, but Nothing Very Concrete”: The Challenge Finns Face with Chinese Delegations’ General Level of Interest in Finland2015In: Asia in Focus: A Nordic journal on Asia by early career researchers, ISSN 2446-0001, no 1, p. 23-29Article in journal (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper explores the challenge of finding common ground between the Finns and the Chinese in the context of co-operation, trade and inward investment facilitation related to general lack of specific interest displayed by the Chinese. The article is ethnographic in nature and is mainly based on data obtained from interviewing individuals working for local governments in Finland and one of the state agencies responsible for attracting foreign investment. The study uses Speech Codes Theory (Philipsen, 1997) when analyzing the cultural aspects of expectations regarding communication between Chinese and Finns. According to interviewees, lack of serious interest, vague government guidelines, the longer time needed to build relationship, and involvement of intermediaries all contribute to the difficulty to move the discussions to a more specific level of focus. Finnish expectations regarding this type of communication are that it should be direct and task-oriented, because they feel pressure to yield real results quickly and efficiently. Suggested strategies to make the co-operation talks more specific are presenting the expertise areas of Finland, clarification regarding too general terms used by the Chinese, and investing into building personal relationships with them.

  • 33. Stopniece, Santa
    The Simple and the Complex Nature of Humor and Laughter in Finnish-Chinese Negotiations2016In: Asia in Focus: A Nordic journal on Asia by early career researchers, ISSN 2446-0001, no 3, p. 26-35Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article explores humor and laughter as sites of the search for common ground and power positioning in the context of Finnish-Chinese co-operation. It is mainly based on data obtained by interviewing individuals who work in Finland either for local government or one of the state agencies responsible for attracting foreign investment. The study uses positioning theory by Harré (1991) and politeness theory by Brown and Levinson (1987) when analyzing expressions of humor between the Finns and the Chinese. Humor and laughter are seen as integral to co-operation and at times can assist in finding common ground and improving the atmosphere at meetings. At the same time, perceived differences in the sense of humor and the complexities of Chinese ‘face’ may render the use of humor during negotiations difficult. According to the interviews, both nationalities make adjustments in their humorous expressions for the sake of co-operation. However, in some situations, power positioning and autonomy are also asserted.

  • 34. Vainio, Anna
    Japan's Family Friendly Policies: Why Fathers Matter2015In: Asia in Focus: A Nordic journal on Asia by early career researchers, ISSN 2446-0001, no 1, p. 3-11Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article is a research report introducing the main findings of the study conducted as a part of the researcher’s Master’s Thesis on Japanese Family Friendly Policies (FFPs) and the effect they are having on advancing a gender balanced society in Japan, focusing on the influence fathers may have in this equation. The research included a three month field work on the experiences of parents who had utilised Family Friendly Policies since their implementation in the 1990s. The research found that the Japanese FFPs have failed to achieve their aims to increase the fertility rate and women’s employability for the following three reasons. Firstly these aims are based on the foundations of gender neutrality in a society that is in reality highly divided along gender lines. Secondly the aims are narrow in scope and target group, and thirdly do not address the real causes of low fertility and employment problems. I argue that promoting the role of fathers as carers would disrupt established gender norms and the benefits of FFPs would cross gender lines and produce practical outcomes that the current FFPs are unable to produce.

  • 35.
    Vainio, Anna
    University of Turku.
    Japan's Family Friendly Policies: Why Fathers Matter2015In: Asia in Focus: A Nordic journal on Asia by early career researchers, ISSN 2446-0001, no 1, p. 3-11Article in journal (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This article is a research report introducing the main findings of the study conducted as a part of the researcher’s Master’s Thesis on Japanese Family Friendly Policies (FFPs) and the effect they are having on advancing a gender balanced society in Japan, focusing on the influence fathers may have in this equation. The research included a three month field work on the experiences of parents who had utilised Family Friendly Policies since their implementation in the 1990s. The research found that the Japanese FFPs have failed to achieve their aims to increase the fertility rate and women’s employability for the following three reasons. Firstly these aims are based on the foundations of gender neutrality in a society that is in reality highly divided along gender lines. Secondly the aims are narrow in scope and target group, and thirdly do not address the real causes of low fertility and employment problems. I argue that promoting the role of fathers as carers would disrupt established gender norms and the benefits of FFPs would cross gender lines and produce practical outcomes that the current FFPs are unable to produce.

  • 36. Visser, Jacco
    Rural-urban migration and redefining indigeneity in Dhaka, Bangladesh2015In: Asia in Focus: A Nordic journal on Asia by early career researchers, ISSN 2446-0001, no 1, p. 53-58Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper examines how students from indigenous groups from the Chittagong Hill Tracts in Southeast Bangladesh who migrated to Dhaka navigate the city. It does so by investigating how students relate to discourses of modernity and urban lifestyles while not disregarding the importance of belonging to an indigenous group. This way challenging notions of being indigenous as related to a non-industrial mode of production and essentially rooted in rural areas. In addition, by revealing the ways in which these students redefine themselves as Bangladeshi, the dominant notion of a Bangladeshi as ethnic Bengali and Muslim are challenged since indigenous migrant students are neither ethnic Bengalis nor Muslims.

  • 37.
    Visser, Jacco
    VU University Amsterdam.
    Rural-urban migration and redefining indigeneity in Dhaka, Bangladesh2015In: Asia in Focus: A Nordic journal on Asia by early career researchers, ISSN 2446-0001, no 1, p. 53-58Article in journal (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper examines how students from indigenous groups from the Chittagong Hill Tracts in Southeast Bangladesh who migrated to Dhaka navigate the city. It does so by investigating how students relate to discourses of modernity and urban lifestyles while not disregarding the importance of belonging to an indigenous group. This way challenging notions of being indigenous as related to a non-industrial mode of production and essentially rooted in rural areas. In addition, by revealing the ways in which these students redefine themselves as Bangladeshi, the dominant notion of a Bangladeshi as ethnic Bengali and Muslim are challenged since indigenous migrant students are neither ethnic Bengalis nor Muslims.

  • 38. Wagenaar, Wester
    Wacky Japan:: A new face of orientalism2016In: Asia in Focus: A Nordic journal on Asia by early career researchers, ISSN 2446-0001, no 3, p. 46-54Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The way that Japan has been represented in the West has been problematic, the West is considered the norm, and Japan is set aside as the Other. Since Edward Said’s (1978) Orientalism was published in the late seventies, the concept of orientalism has been used by scholars to better understand how these kinds of representations work. In the case of Japan, academics have tended to agree that there are two models of orientalism: traditional orientalism and techno-orientalism. This paper claims that in the twentyfirst century, these two models are still applicable but that there is a new framework through which Japan is perceived, most notably in popular culture and the media. The West increasingly judges Japan and its people as weird and this phenomenon can be understood with a third model: wacky orientalism. By using this framework of Japan as bizarre, the West confirms what is normal.

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