This paper deals with the development of the “visual public sphere” in the Republic of Turkey, by focusing on the Gezi Park Protests in 2013, in which people with a variety of ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation have engaged in political and cultural communication through visual images in public. In the visual public sphere, people communicate with each other based on a common sense regarding the needs of safety, recognition, and dignity in social life. This paper argues that the visual public sphere in Turkey developed from around 2008. From that time, people in Turkey began to use a lot of visual images as a means of communication in the public sphere in order to prevent intervention by the government and opposition groups. This paper aims to analyze the way in which visual images have played an important role in the Gezi Park Protests and show how the visual public sphere in Turkey took a new turn of development thereafter.
While the property rights of men and women have been the cause of disputes in pre-modern Vietnam, many scholars have paid attention only to the quantity of land divided between men and women. Of the property for ancestor worship, scholars have paid attention only to ‘fire and incense’ (hương hỏa), a kind of property for ancestor worship inherited by mainly men. To better understand women’s status in Vietnamese society much, this article examines the inheritance of another kind of property for ancestor worship－anniversary rice fields (kỵ điền)－and women’s role in ancestor worship. In pre-modern Vietnam, daughters sometimes received equal rights of ownership or cultivation of anniversary rice fields as sons. In exchange for receiving anniversary rice fields, daughters had duties to worship their ancestors. Parents sometimes stipulated in testaments that both sons and daughters should fulfill the duty of ancestor worship equally and forever. Even after marrying out, daughters continued to fulfill their duties of worship with their husband and children or grand-children. In some cases, children and grand-children inherited their mother’s anniversary rice fields in order to continue to worship their mother’s ancestors, contrary to the Confucian patrilineal norm. From the anthropological point of view, this phenomenon also represents an ancestor-centered kinship idea similar to cognatic stock, rather than an ego-centered idea such as kindred.
Worldwide increasing water demands have made alternate wetting and drying (AWD) irrigation an attractive water-saving technology for paddy rice farming. With AWD, rice paddies are intermittently irrigated, except during the rooting and flowering stages, reducing water use by 15%-40%. We assessed AWD uptake by comparing the standardized AWD used by official institutions and the practiced AWD used by farmers in An Giang Province, Mekong Delta, Vietnam. We observed that 1) farmers did not use plastic pipes to measure the water level, although these allow assessment of the correct timing for watering and 2) farmers also practiced AWD during the rainy season, despite it originally being developed as a water-saving technology. These modifications indicate that farmers have adapted AWD for use in their local farming conditions. Agrarian certification systems should be used to increase AWD uptake; however, these require standardized procedures. Therefore, this disparity between the standardized and practiced technology should be addressed to improve AWD uptake.
Cultural Consensus Analysis (CCA) is a mathematical method to estimate the existence of cultural consensus (or a pool of culturally shared knowledge), culturally correct answers, and informants’ cultural competence. This method originated in cultural anthropology and has been widely used in many other fields in international journals, but only a limited number of studies have been made in Japanese academia. This paper aims to clarify the usefulness and limitations of CCA in Asian and African Area Studies and to show how researchers can integrate CCA into their research. Although the original model was based upon over-simplified assumptions, the recent development of Bayesian Statistics has made it possible to use complicated models and to estimate parameters precisely. Many previous studies have used CCA to test relationships between culture and ecosystems, agriculture, health, and many other natural scientific variables. Limitations are rooted in formalization and simplification of the concept of culture. However, CCA is a useful method to analyze today’s social and environmental problems and thus has a great potential to further progress in the field of Asian and African Area Studies.