This textbook provides an ambitious overview of Asia from the perspective of the comparative sociology of culture and social structure. Starting with the history of colonialism and empire, the study examines major dimensions of modern social change from population and migration, the growth of nationalism and communism, and the development of religions, both popular and official.
This sociological approach considers the major structural dimensions of Asian societies in terms of gender, sexuality and the family, social class, ethnicity and inequality, and democracy and citizenship. The empirical examples are taken from north and east Asia (China, Vietnam,South Korea and Japan) and from Southeast Asia (Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia). There are passing references to South Asia, Thailand and the Philippines.
Its coherence is provided by a macro-sociological perspective (a modern interpretation of the sociology of Max Weber). The special features of the volume are: a consistent focus on the effects of globalization; attention to the modern legacy of religious traditions (Confucianism, Buddhism, Christianity and popular religion); an awareness of the importance of gender, family and reproduction; and finally concluding chapters examining democracy, human rights and citizenship.
Bryan S. Turner was Professor of Sociology at the University of Cambridge (1998–2005) and at the National University of Singapore (2005–09). He is currently the Alona Evans Distinguished Visiting Professor of Sociology at Wellesley College USA and the Director of the Centre for the Study of Contemporary Muslim Societies, University of Western Sydney, Australia. He has publishedThe New Medical Sociology (2004) and The Body & Society (2008).