This Dictionary provides definitions and explanations of economic and political terms and references relating to southeast Asia. The book contains entries covering various areas and issues, such as the recent history and economy of each country in the region, ethnic groups, political parties and party leaders, politicians, conflicts, regions, border disputes, key businesses and stock markets. Each entry provides a clear and concise explanation or definition of the term or name to which it refers.
Latah, the Malayan hyperstartle pattern, has fascinated Western observers since the late nineteenth century and is widely regarded as a "culture-bound syndrome." Robert Winzeler critically reviews the literature on the subject, and presents new ethnographic information based on his own fieldwork in Malaya and Borneo. He considers the biological and psychological hypotheses that have been proposed to account for latah, and explains the ways in which local people understand it. Arguing that latah has specific social functions, he concludes that it is not appropriate to regard it as an "illness" or a "syndrome."
Recent studies of South India in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries concentrate primarily on political and social issues. Studies of specifically religious developments, of religious encounter, institutions and movements, especially in the nineteenth century, have been few and far between. The purpose of this study is to examine religious institutions, trends and developments in parts of South-east India, focusing on the Tanjore and Trichinopoly districts - a region that has long been famous as a centre of cultural and religious activity. It is recalled that neither Hinduism nor Christianity were totally static forms of religious organization, ritual or belief, but were living traditions always in the process of change and adaptation: thus one of the major concerns of the book deals with continuities, conversion and change.
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