Accepted Paper:

Why there may never be an East Asian anthropology  

Author:

Gordon Mathews (The Chinese University of Hong Kong)

Paper short abstract:

Intellectually there should be a common East Asian anthropology: practically, unending political discord and linguistic differences makes the emergence of an East Asian anthropology unlikely. This is tragic, because East Asia should shape the world intellectually as it now does economically.

Paper long abstract:

Intellectually there should be a common East Asian Anthropology: the similar historical backgrounds of East Asian societies means that there are common intellectual and cultural themes apparent within all these societies, themes that can ideally help create a new type of anthropological investigation into societies across the globe. Practically, however, the unending political discord between these societies, as well as their linguistic differences, makes the emergence of an East Asian anthropology highly unlikely. This is tragic, because East Asia should shape the world intellectually just as it now does economically; but East Asian anthropology appears implacably divided into different national camps, and thus inevitably weak in the international intellectual influence it might have.

Panel P018
East Asian anthropology/anthropologies (EAAA panel)