Asian Families and Intimacy

Asian Families and Intimacy, 2 op, NAOA205 / VALS311/ CIS / ETNA008 (5 op)

Lectures on gender and family in Asian societies. Rapid economic growth, urbanization and change in the economic basis of societies have produced tremendous changes in human life, gender roles, and care networks in all Asian societies from Korea, China and Japan to Singapore, Thailand and . Existential changes in the way people live their lives are producing major transformations in societies, which can be observed in demographic structure, services, care systems, communications, culture and economy. These changes have shown that Asia does not form a unified cultural area, because responses to these changes have been so different in different societies. At the same time, Asia does not appear as separate from other major world regions, because also elsewhere similar diverse responses to similar developments can be found. The scene cannot be scientifically mastered with the familiar sociological concepts of traditional family – modern family, because actual empirically observable forms do not fit neatly within these two dichotomous categories. The lectures analyze empirically and theoretically this multifarious relationship between the intimate and the public in Asia.

The first fourteen lectures are the outcome of a systematic international joint research project conducted since 2001 and partially presented in the book Asia's New Mothers: Crafting Gender Roles and Childcare Networks in East and Southeast Asian Societies, (edited by Emiko Ochiai and Barbara Molony, Folkestone: Global Oriental, 2008). The latter lectures are about sexuality and intimacy in Japan in the former half of the twentieth-century.