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Home > Books & Journals > Journal Abstracts Last Updated: 14:23 03/09/2007
Journal Abstracts #161: August 19, 2004

Modern Asian Studies

Journal Name: Modern Asian Studies: Volume 35 - Issue 02 - April 2001
Print ISSN: 0026-749X Online ISSN: 1469-8099

Framed, Blamed and Renamed: The Recasting of Islamic Jurisprudence in Colonial South Asia (pp257-313)
SCOTT ALAN KUGLE (Duke University, USA)
A system should be formed, which shall preserve as much as possible can be done, their institutions and laws to the natives of Hindoostan, and attemper them with the mild spirit of British government.—John Bruce
Jurisprudence is the nexus where authoritative texts, cultural assumptions, and political expediency come together during a crisis. It is therefore not so much a thing or a system as it is an experience, an interpretative experience. Yet the practice of jurisprudence is very different from other types of interpretation because it is also an exertion of power. A legal interpretation is a decision which mobilizes coercive forces to immediately solidify the interpretation into a social reality. The administrative structure of courts and the legal rhetoric that flows through them disguise jurisprudence as 'a system' rather than revealing its nature as an interpretative experience; this disguise serves to heighten the authority of these exercises of power and to limit the ability to contest them to specialists.

Marriage, Honor, Agency, and Trials by Ordeal: Women's Gender Roles in Candimangal (pp315-348)
DAVID L. CURLEY (Western Washington University)
This essay discusses women's gender roles as they were imagined and debated in a Bengali text written towards the end of the sixteenth century. Efforts to reexamine precolonial gender roles and debates about them are important for three reasons. First, that large body of research on gender which begins with the colonial period often has obscured elements of continuity between colonial and precolonial discourse on gender in South Asia, and often exaggerates or misstates both the degree of consensus about gender in the precolonial period, and the nature of change in the colonial period.

Courting Legitimacy or Delegitimizing Custom? Sexuality, Sambandham, and Marriage Reform in Late Nineteenth-Century Malabar (pp349-384)
PRAVEENA KODOTH (University of Hyderabad)
At an interview which Della Vella [seventeenth century] had with the Zamorin, [the Samudiri or the ruler of Calicut] there were present two little princesses of the Royal house aged 12 years each; and of them he says, 'they were all naked (as I said above the women generally go) saving that they had a very small blue cloth wrapped about their immodesties. One of them being more forward could not contain, but approaching gently towards me, almost touched the sleeve of my coat with her hand, made a sign of wonder to her sister, how could we go so wrapped up and entangled in clothes. Such is the power of custom that their going naked seemed no more strange to us, than our being clothed appeared extravagant to them.'

Demystifying the 'Ideal Progressive': Resistance through Mimicked Modernity in Princely Baroda, 1900-1913 (pp385-409)
MANU BHAGAVAN (The University of Texas at Austin)
Current scholarship is replete with the praises of princely Baroda, the 'ideal and progressive' state which emerged and prospered under the enlightened rule of Maharaja Sayaji Rao Gaekwad III in the early twentieth century. For example, V. B. Kulkarni notes in his Princely India and Lapse of British Paramountcy that 'It is . . . enough to end this heart-warming story of wise princely governments by recalling the achievements of Sayajirao of Baroda . . . [in part] because he gave an enlightened government to a chronically-misgoverned state . . .'.

The Effect of Government Policy and Institutions on Chinese Overseas Acculturation: The Case of Malaysia (pp411-440)
AMY L. FREEDMAN (Department of Government Franklin and Marshall College)
This work looks at how Malaysia's political institutions and policies have constrained Chinese acculturation with the dominant Malay population. Particular attention is paid to the nature of electoral institutions; such as the ethnic party structure, the apportionment of electoral districts, and the debate over Malaysia's education system. These political institutions, and not just the coercive apparatus of the state, coupled with the way the Constitution defines a person as 'Malay', effectively maintain a distinct boundary between who is Malay and who is Chinese or Indian. Ethnic categorization in Malaysia has, in the past, masked equally wide divisions between classes. More recent efforts at creating a 'Malaysian' national identity may clash with a political structure still largely organized by ethnicity, and may bring these other fissures to the forefront.

The Way of Efficiency: Ueno Yoichi and Scientific Management in Twentieth-Century Japan (pp441-467)
WILLIAM M. TSUTSUI (The University of Kansas)
The profound influence of American management thought on Japanese industrial practice has generally been considered a postwar phenomenon. Stressing the contributions of Deming, Drucker and other American experts, both popular wisdom and scholarly opinion have embraced the notion that 'the managerial revolution that occurred in Japan after World War II was made in the United States'. Prewar Japanese management, however, has seldom been figured in terms of American inspiration. Historians have commonly conceived prewar Japanese practice as somehow impervious to American theories and techniques, emphasizing instead the importance of indigenous patterns of familialism, German influences, or a capital-labor dynamic largely detached from external stimuli. Thus, in industrial management—as in so many facets of modern Japanese history—the prewar narrative and the postwar narrative have remained separate and unreconciled. Despite recent interest in establishing a fuller genealogy of Japanese management, the question of how American models could thrive in postwar Japan without a prewar legacy of integration has yet to be answered or even seriously addressed.

Enlightenment and Unity: Language Reformism in Late Qing China (pp469-493)
W. K. CHENG (Mills College, Oakland, California)
The movement to create a phonetic script for the Chinese language was arguably one of the most arresting and exciting engagements in modern China. While generations of Chinese intellectuals tirelessly applied themselves to sorting out the linguistic technicalities in devising a Chinese phonetic system, what made language reform—or, depending on the perspective taken, revolution—historically so intriguing was that it had been a fiercely contested domain where a fascinating array of ideological positions was staked and contended. As John de Francis has observed, there had always been 'a significant correlation between attitudes toward social change and attitudes toward linguistic reform in China'. Indeed, Qian Xuantong insisted at the height of the May Fourth New Culture Movement that to destroy Confucianism, one must 'first dispose of the Chinese language', whereas the Communist-led latinization movement of the 1930s, for its part, was meant to create a medium for the emergence of a true proletarian culture.

Modern Asian Studies (2004)
Copyright ©2004 Cambridge University Press

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