By M. Pinches
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Additional resources for Culture and Privilege in Capitalist Asia (The New Rich in Asia Series)
In their more nuanced forms, they are presented as a partial explanation alongside ‘economic’, ‘institutional’ or ‘structural’ factors (Clegg and Redding 1990; Redding 1990). A central proposition is that Confucianism and Chinese ethnicity constitute the new ‘spirit of capitalism’ in Asia, the counterpart of Weber’s Protestantism in industrialising Europe (Redding 1990). According to Berger (1988), the countries of East and Southeast Asia are so culturally distinctive as to represent a ‘second case of capitalist modernity’ built around the traditional principles of family and community solidarity, and deference to authority, as against the individualism that is said to have characterised capitalism in the West.
The Philippines is a particularly instructive case, because its recent drive to new wealth arose in the context of being widely branded the regional exception to economic growth, and of becoming nationally identified with its lowly paid, poorly treated, overseas contract workers. Thus, one powerful domestic rendering of the Philippines’ recent economic growth, and of the newly rich associated with it, draws a morally loaded contrast between its own open, democratic order and the rigid authoritarian character of other countries in the region.
Malaysia and Indonesia testify to different and apparently contradictory ways in which new-rich identities are being constructed. First, there is the impetus to draw those with Chinese ancestry into a pan-Asian community of new rich, centred on Confucianism and Chinese ethnicity. Second, state development strategies and ethno-nationalist ideologies have generated substantial layers of new rich–largely new middle class–whose identities are stridently indigenous and increasingly Islamic. The relationship between these two new-rich identities has varied from accommodating to volatile.
Culture and Privilege in Capitalist Asia (The New Rich in Asia Series) by M. Pinches