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Values & Development in Southeast Asia
A New System of Values for Malaysia
By John Clammer
228 pages, 5 1/2" x 8 1/2"
$43.50 Paper Original
Since it became clear that there is a crisis in economic definitions of development, the need to re-examine from fresh perspectives the question of the role of values in development and the place of cultural analysis in elucidating these values has become apparent. This study attempts such a re-examination in relation to the societies and cultures of contemporary Southeast Asia. It does this by exploring how values and development interact, by examining some of the theoretical approaches to explaining social transformation and by expanding the notion of "development" to include issues of culture, religion, ethnicity, language and ideology. It examines values as embedded in modes of social organization and works out the implications of this through a series of case studies of the concept of postmodernity, the place of social and cultural factors in understanding economic development, the concepts of urbanization and sustainable development, the role of religion, the place of the producers of discourse - the intellectuals - in development, and the role of ideology and ideas about the nature of science in defining patterns of social and political development. This study illustrates the connections between values and development in Southeast Asia and links development discourses within the region to wider theoretical debates about social transformation and the role of values in social change. In this way, some important changes in the nature of development thinking are applied to Southeast Asia and in turn Southeast Asia is situated afresh in relation to intellectual trends that are influential but have often originated outside the region.