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East Asian societies

(8,545 words)

Author(s): Mittag, Achim | Mathias, Regine | Eggert, Marion
1. IntroductionThe term for “society” now (and in this specific sense only since the second half of the 19th century) current in  China, Japan, andKorea (pronounced in Chinese shehui, Japanese shakai, Korean sahoe), consists of the two Chinese characters for “earth altar” ( she) and “meeting” ( hui). The reference to the “earth altar” where the local deity of a village was venerated [35] signals the great importance of religious ideas and practices to the social cohesion of the family, associations, neighborhood networks, municipalities, secret societies…
Date: 2019-10-14

East Asian economy

(6,801 words)

Author(s): Mittag, Achim | Schottenhammer, Angela | Mathias, Regine
1. IntroductionEver since Marco Polo's travel journal in the Late Middle Ages, China has been seen in Europe as a land of flourishing trade and great wealth. Even in the mid-18th century, it was still characterized as an “earthly paradise” [1. vi]: “Trade in China is done in gold, silver, precious stones, porcelain, silk, calico, spices, rhubarb and other apothecaries' wares, tea, lacquered objects, and the like. The trade among the provinces is so great that they have no need of selling their wares outside” (“Der Handel in China bes…
Date: 2019-10-14

Knowledge systems beyond Europe

(14,466 words)

Author(s): König, Hans-Joachim | Reichmuth, Stefan | Raina, Dhruv | Mittag, Achim | Mathias, Regine
1. Introduction The beginnings of a project to “conquer nature” that became apparent in European science and technology from the late 18th and early 19th centuries, and the sense of superiority this engendered, distorted views of the accomplishments of non-European civilizations (World perception) [2. 81 ff.]. This was particularly true of perceptions of and attitudes towards the countries of Asia and the “Orient” as a whole (Orientalism). During the 16th and 17th centuries, this region of the world had found its way to an albeit volatil…
Date: 2019-10-14

Cultural contact, global

(9,702 words)

Author(s): Rinke, Stefan | Falola, Toyin | Aderinto, Saheed | Reichmuth, Stefan | Liebau, Heike | Et al.
1. Introduction The term cultural contact was long taken to mean the meeting of different cultural units that was homogenous and static in themselves. Modern approaches to an understanding of the concept proceed on the basis of a different idea of culture, seeing it as a “self-woven web of meaning” [3. 9] in human consciousness, subject to perpetual change in dynamic processes of the construction of symbols. Interpretations are thus made both individually and collectively, and these give rise to meanings and identities. This interpretation br…
Date: 2019-10-14