P32
Values through practice in Southeast Asian societies
Convenors:
Kenneth Sillander (University of Helsinki)
Anu Lounela (University of Helsinki)
Format:
Panels
Location:
Jan Anderson (E101A), R.N Robertson Building
Sessions:
Thursday 5 December, 11:15-13:00, 14:15-16:00

Short abstract:

This panel serves the double purpose of analyzing how values affect people in Southeast Asian societies, and developing values as a conceptual tool for the anthropological pursuit of examining social life in practice in specific ethnographic contexts.

Long abstract:

This panel serves the double purpose of analyzing how values affect people in Southeast Asian societies, and developing values as a conceptual tool for the anthropological pursuit of examining social life in practice in specific ethnographic contexts. The idea is to bring together case studies on the concrete importance of values in Southeast Asia to critically interrogate the significance of values as elements of social life. How do values feature on the ground as social and discoursive resources, and how do they shape people's lives and authorize or constrain social conditions? What values appear in these processes in Southeast Asian lifeworlds, and how do they conform to or challenge stereotypical, politicized Asian values such as collectivism, consensus, refinement, deference and traditionalism? The focus is on cultural values in a broad sense, as shared conceptions of the valuable, virtuous, or legitimate, which invest social life with moral or political content. The importance of values is often presumed in advance or retrospectively read into culture. The perspective adopted serves as a corrective to the tendency of analytically abstracting quintessential cultural or encompassing societal values from observed social patterns or tendencies. Values are perceived as ethnosociologically recognized ideals which figure in discourse and are invoked in specific situations by situated social actors. The panel welcomes contributions that shed light on the importance of particular values in diverse Southeast Asian contexts, whether in the form of moral virtues, social mores, aesthetic ideals, localized notions of well-being or state-imposed ideological precepts.