The Newsletter

Imagining Asian Studies / Elderly Care in Indonesia

Four of the ten fastest-growing elderly populations worldwide can be found in Southeast Asia, and Indonesia has perhaps the most striking profile of them all. As the strengths and weaknesses of current provisions for the elderly are the best guide to the future, a sound knowledge of existing arrangements and their limitations is a necessary baseline for any examination of the issue. Is current support adequate? What gaps are there? How may a good level of support be defined? What capacity is there in current family and community arrangements to encompass a three or fourfold increase in the elderly? What role can local and international organizations most effectively play? These and other searching questions need to be asked, and the need to delve into the workings of local support networks means that answers will depend on data that economic and social surveys alone cannot provide.

Mega-Urbanization in Asia

Picture a grid connecting existing urban centres, avoiding the areas that are considered uninhabitable due to altitude, lack of water, extreme climatic conditions, and some other factors. In his effort to map the future of the city and urbanization, the famous Greek urbanist C.A. Doxiadis, who published the journal Ekistics, projected this world city and called it Ecumenopolis (Doxiadis 1972). Then and now many feel horrified by the thought of a completely integrated settlement structure covering the earth’s crust with tentacles on all continents. This article introduces this issue’s theme ‘Mega-Urbanization in Asia’.

Psychiatry in Asia

Academic interest in the history of psychiatry and a general fascination with how ‘madness’ fared during the modern period were particularly prominent in Western countries during the 1970s and 1980s in the wake of Foucault’s ground-breaking work on Madness and Civilization and the high-profile campaigns of the anti-psychiatry movement. More recently, problems arising from the de-institutionalization of the mentally ill and the search for safe and financially and socially viable community care options and preventative mental health care measures have rekindled this earlier interest.

Asian Homosexualities

The 1990s, as the articles in the upcoming pages demonstrate, have witnessed a growth of both Western and Asian scholarly interest in same-sex sexuality in contemporary and traditional Asian societies. We have just begun to scrutinize the wealth of historical documents on the subject, and to reconstruct conceptual models buried underneath modern discourses on health and sexuality largely of Western origin (if often appearing in quite different ideological guises).

Sports in Asia

Since the early twentieth century, sports have continued to play significant roles in the formation processes of nations and nation states. Few modern states have abstained from the educative and disciplinary opportunities embedded in the curricula of physical education and sports. Furthermore, states and their representatives have become increasingly aware of the symbolic value and practical benefits of international sporting events ...

Afghanistan: Picking up the Pieces

Lest we forget,the burning of cultural objects such as musical instruments and manuscripts, the destruction of statues and images considered idols, and the wartime pillage and trade in valuable cultural artefacts – none of this type of devastation is new to humankind. However, seemingly out of sight and memory, as we turn our gazes away, some of the shards left behind in the rubble are picked up and saved. When considering this issue’s theme section, we were hesitant that anything on Afghanistan would wade into the mire of political debate, which is not our mandate; however, and especially in this case, to assume a dismissive posture to political issues would also be inappropriate. Thus, we asked some prominent scholars to describe their work, their findings and, if possible, their experiences in the field ...

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The Newsletter is a free academic publication produced three times a year by the International Institute for Asian Studies. With a worldwide readership of about 50,000 The Newsletter is the premier Asian Studies forum for Asia scholars to share commentary and opinion; research essays; book, journal and website reviews; and announcements of events, projects and conferences, with colleagues in academia and beyond. | Take a free subscription

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