Cultural Landscape in Asian Modernity

Wong, See Huat (2015) Cultural Landscape in Asian Modernity. Sociology and Anthropology, 3 (8). pp. 379-388. ISSN 2331-6187 [Article]


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Abstract (in English)

This study is to investigate the relationship between the cultural landscapes in Asia and Asian Modernity. As first variable, the cultural landscapes chosen are from the UNESCO World Heritage Listing, up to the year 2012. Modernity, the second variable, is the result of simultaneous and contradictory influences and consequences of homogenization, pluralization, and hybridization of the material and non-material items. The foundation of this study is established by studying the basic information of Asian countries, where the cultural landscapes are situated, its population and density, ethnic majority, governance system, and the nomination criteria of UNESCO. The sites are then linked to the contemporary backdrop to reveal the great diversity of the interactions between humans and their environment over the time span, to see whether they are sustaining the traditional living cultures, and to see how the current politics, socio and economic circumstances influence the sites. The analysis is based on four categories: (i) Early human settlement and spirituality (Grottos and sacred sites), (ii) Economy and cultural activity prove (plantation, mining and trading route), (iii) Ancient township and empire remains, and (iv) Intentional human intervention landscape. Out of the 17 cultural landscapes in Asia, 16 are considered highly relevant with its modernity. The cultural landscapes do contribute to ethnic or cultural identity affirmation and pride in Asia, in the probe of modernity. The analysis also prompts us to think further whether the result would be different if other continent (other than Asia) would have been adopted. The positive result indicates the urge for the relevant institutions to brainstorm on what could be done to further enhance the cultural landscapes in this modern era. The proven relationship brings out the significance in safeguarding the continuity of cultural landscape’s essence amidst flow of modernity.

Item Type: Article
Wong, See Huat
Languages: English
Keywords: Cultural Landscapes; Asian Modernity; Continuity of Essence; Anthropology; Ethnology; Human settlements; cultural significance; Conservation of cultural landscapes; world heritage sites; world heritage list; Social aspects; Environment; Asia
Subjects: H. HERITAGE TYPOLOGIES > 06. Cultural landscapes
J. HERITAGE ECONOMICS > 05. Heritage and sustainable development
N. ANTHROPOLOGY > 01. Generalities
P. GEOGRAPHIC AREAS > 04. Asia and Pacific islands
Volume: 3
Number: 8
ISSN: 2331-6187
Depositing User: Mr See Huat Wong
Date Deposited: 25 Jan 2016 12:29
Last Modified: 25 Jan 2016 12:29
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388 Cultural Landscapes in Asian Modernity

Documentation of a workshop of the Heinrich Böll Foundation, Berlin, 2004.

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