How to live in a first world country always made me wonder. The internet somehow gives us a glimpse, but experiencing it firsthand is entirely different. I have traveled to a handful of countries for quick trips, however, when I got to experience living away from home for a long time, I realized that those sojourns, as respite, only contribute to raising one’s cultural awareness. Having weekend trips overseas might be entertaining, sometimes enlightening, but insufficient to fully understand the culture of a particular society. In my experience, one has to spend a significant amount of time immersed in a culture to have a profound understanding of it—at least six months to a year. Living in South Korea as a graduate student for more than a year now has allowed me to truly understand their rich history, culture, and people. They continuously impart lessons and evoke reflections applicable in my academic, personal, and professional life.
Kim Harold T. PEJI is a graduate student at the Seoul National University - Graduate School of International Studies (SNU-GSIS) under its Development Cooperation Policy Program. He is a graduate scholar of the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA). The views and opinions presented in this paper do not represent the views and opinions of SNU-GSIS and KOICA.
Scholarly portrayals of the group often focus on the mediums they used to spread propaganda such as social media, video platforms, and the internet. Irrespective of the medium, less attention is given to the set of methods they employed to influence the consumers of their media (Bodine-Baron et al. 2016; Blaker 2016; Khawaja and Khan 2016).
In his book, Media Persuasion in the Islamic State, Dr. Neil Aggarwal argues that his specialization in cultural psychology may hold the answers to the puzzle of the Islamic State’s propaganda. Dr. Aggarwal takes a chronological view of the subject, beginning with the propaganda materials of its precursor organizations and tracing the evolution of its methods until the time the caliphate was declared in Raqqa, Iraq. Through comprehensive research on various documents, videos, and other forms of cultural output like songs and poems, Dr. Aggarwal paints a compelling and fairly unified picture of the group’s messaging.
Juan Ricardo David D.C. LEJARDE is currently studying Master of Arts in Asian Studies specializing in West Asia at the Asian Center, University of the Philippines Diliman.
The Votive Pen by Sengupta Nilanjana is a literary biography of a major Singapore poet, Edwin Thumboo. Often referred to as the father of Singaporean literature, Thumboo writes in English but creates a nexus for Singapore’s multicultural and multilingual realities in his verse. Nilanjana’s biography showed how Thumboo’s poetry is both personal and historical—reflecting his growth as a writer and at the same time, illustrated the transformation of Singapore from an island which had nothing, to an economic miracle in Southeast Asia.
Lily Rose TOPE, Ph.D. is currently a faculty member of the Department of English and Comparative Literature, College of Arts and Letters, University of the Philippines Diliman.
As a social institution, the family plays a significant role in Philippine politics. The political and economic domination of elite families in the country can be rooted in Philippine colonial history when colonial powers relied on co-opted local prominent families to maintain order and control (Hau 2017). Since then, the family has been a key institution for local elites to consolidate and perpetuate power.
In this essay, I argue that the political developments leading to and until the conclusion of the 2022 Philippine elections show that a section of the country’s elite families are shifting away from the usual anarchic competition to a path of unity to insulate themselves and the institution of familial rule from threats of reform and other similar challenges in the future. This process can be described as the formation of a metaphorical Philippine Leviathan state, similar to how previously fractured communal, economic, and political elites in Malaysia and Singapore have come together to build strong authoritarian states to permanently protect themselves from the destabilizing threats of communism and liberal democratization (Slater 2010).
Cleve V. ARGUELLES writes on political and social change in the Philippines and Southeast Asia. He is President and Chief Executive Officer of WR NUMERO, Assistant Professorial Lecturer in the Department of Political Science and Development Studies at the De La Salle University, and a Ph.D. candidate at the Department of Political and Social Change, Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs, Australian National University.
Families are made up of a variety of relationships—parent-child, grandparent-grandchild, in-law relations, intergenerational, marital, among others. With global economic, social, and cultural changes, these relations continuously evolve. This review essay explored how siblingship is examined in the context of an increasingly complex family system. The first section highlighted earlier works on how family cultures and practices continue or transform sibling relations. Works studying the prevalence of having half siblings, step siblings, adoptive siblings, assisted reproductive technology (ART)-produced siblings, and pets as siblings were also examined. The last section suggested approaches to further conduct the study of siblingship. This paper argued that future siblingships can be better understood by reviewing previous analyses of siblingship and looking at siblingship formations and categorizations.
Veronica L. GREGORIO is a Lecturer (Social Sciences) at the College of Humanities and Sciences, National University of Singapore. Her thematic research interests include gender and sexuality, family sociology, and youth studies, with a regional focus on Southeast Asia. She has conducted fieldwork in the Philippines, Malaysia, and Singapore, utilizing ethnographic, visual, and digital methodologies. Her research has been published in academic journals, including Current Sociology, Review of Women's Studies, Philippine Sociological Review, and Simulacra Jurnal Sosiologi. Her latest work is the co-edited volume, Resilience and Familism: The Dynamic Nature of Families in the Philippines published by Emerald Publishing in 2023.
The gradual rise of right-wing populism in India has, for the time being, dominated the conversation about Indian politics. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has served as the protagonist of this political genre. The role of his personal experiences, particularly during the years he spent in the Hindu nationalist organization, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), in the formation of his populist politics has been well-studied. What researchers have not yet focused on is Modi’s rhetoric on the family and the role it plays in his populist mobilization. This commentary aims to address these issues through a discourse analysis of Modi’s invocation of family in his politics. I will address the dialectics of family vis-a-vis political rhetoric and compare Modi’s discourses of “Indian-diaspora-as-extended-family” and estrangement from his own family—both of which are present in his rhetoric on family and politics as well as on family-in-politics. I argue that Modi’s two-faced discourses on family, however contrasting, play a central role in his populist mobilization.
Keywords: family, populism, Modi, India
Sandeepan TRIPATHY is currently a Ph.D. Candidate at the Department of Sociology, National University of Singapore. Previously, he finished his MSc in Sociology from the London School of Economics and Political Science. He also received a scholarship at the Karl Jaspers Center for Advanced Transcultural Studies at the Ruprecht Karl University of Heidelberg.