IAFOR Journal of Asian Studies: Volume 3 – Issue 1
Editor: Dr Seiko Yasumoto, University of Sydney, Australia
Published: August 4, 2017
IAFOR Journal of Asian Studies Volume 3 Issue 1: Articulating Identity
Identity is that most complex of categorisations, always in a state of becoming, always being shaped and reshaped at the intersection of personal expression, legal protection and political definition. Thanks to the rapid expansion and proliferation of digital media over the last decade, particularly via social media platforms, identity politics has become an even more contested space, revelling in the opportunity for fluidity and reformation. Mediation means that while such articulations remain intensely personal and local, drawing on personal stories and images, they can also have a global reach that can galvanise vast numbers of people to action, to advocate for change and place identity politics firmly at the centre of government agendas.
In this issue we explore the articulation of identities across Asia – and more specifically LGBT, feminine and familial identities as articulated across law, politics and popular fiction in Japan and Southeast Asia. Cai Wilkinson, Paula Gerber, Baden Offord and Anthony J. Langlois interrogate the trajectory of LGBT rights in Southeast Asia from legal, cultural, human rights and political perspectives to measure not only the current state of LGBT rights in the region but also how LGBT rights can be protected and advanced in the future. Ian McArthur reminds us of the long history and personal agendas informing identity politics by taking us back to late 1800s Japan and the adaptive translations of English sensation fiction author Mary Braddon that were variously mobilised to debate femininity, theatre codes and legal reform. Finally, Takeshi Hamano analyses the family ideology of modern Japan following the Japanese government’s ratification of the Hague Convention on child abduction, an international convention designed to resolve disputes around international parental child abduction.
Together, these papers provide a snapshot of how identity is debated, contested and articulated across Asia, in the past, in the present and how it may look tomorrow. They too will become part of the dialogue around LGBT, feminine and familial identities and we are so proud to present them to you in this issue.
Professor Jason Bainbridge
IAFOR Journal of Asian Studies