Loyola University Chicago

Kathleen M. Adams, PhD

Professor of Anthropology Department

Everyday Life in Southeast Asia

Edited by Katleen M. Adams and Kathleen Gillogly

Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
(ISBN: 978-0-253-22321-0)


This lively survey of the peoples, cultures, and societies of Southeast Asia introduces a region of tremendous geographic, linguistic, historical, and religious diversity. Encompassing both mainland and island countries, these engaging essays describe personhood and identity, family and household organization, nation-states, religion, popular culture and the arts, the legacies of war and recovery, globalization, and the environment. Throughout, the focus is on the daily lives and experiences of ordinary people. Most of the essays are original to this volume, while a few are widely taught classics. All were chosen for their timeliness and interest, and are ideally suited for the classroom.

According to Project Muse this book was the #1 most downloaded of all the thousands of academic books in their project since they began tracking.

Art as Politics: Re-Crafting Identities, Tourism, and Power in Tana Toraja, Indonesia

University of Hawaii Press: 2006 (August)
(ISBN 0-8248-3072-5)


This book explores the intersection of art, identity politics, and tourism in Sulawesi, Indonesia. Based on long-term ethnographic research from the 1980s to the present, the book offers a nuanced portrayal of the Sadan Toraja, a predominantly Christian minority group in the world's most populous Muslim country. Celebrated in anthropological and tourism literatures for their spectacular traditional houses, sculpted effigies of the dead, and pageantry-filled funeral rituals, the Toraja have entered an era of accelerated engagement with the global economy marked by on-going struggles over identity, religion, and social relations.

In her engaging account, Kathleen Adams chronicles how various Toraja individuals and groups have drawn upon artistically-embellished traditional objects as well as monumental displays, museums, UNESCO ideas about word heritage, and the World Wide Web to shore up or realign aspects of a cultural heritage perceived to be under threat. She also considers how outsiders be they tourists, art collectors, members of rival ethnic groups, or government officials have appropriated and reframed Toraja art objects for their own purposes. Her account illustrates how art can serve as a catalyst in identity politics, especially in the context of tourism and social upheaval.

Ultimately, this insightful work prompts readers to rethink persistent and pernicious popular assumptions that tourism invariably brings a loss of agency to local communities or that tourist art is a compromised form of expression. Art as Politics promises to be a favorite with students and scholars of anthropology, sociology, cultural studies, ethnic relations, art, and Asian studies.

35 illus., 15 in color

This book received the 2009 Alpha Sigma Nu Award as best book published in the Social Sciences for three previous years.

Home and Hegemony...

Home and Hegemony...

University of Michigan Press: 2000


In the intimate context of domestic service, power relations take on one of their most personalized forms. Domestic servants and their employers must formulate their political identities in relationship to each other, sometimes reinforcing and sometimes challenging broader social hierarchies such as those based on class, caste or rank, gender, race and ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, and kinship relations.