Southeast Asia is probably the part of the world most closely associated by anthropologists with an interpretive concept of culture. Yet do such ideas as culture areas or local cultures retain their analytical salience when our attention turns to processes of domination, displacement, and diaspora? This article considers the state of culture theory in the anthropology of Southeast Asia today, focusing on the themes of gender, marginality, violence, and the state. Culture is increasingly viewed as an attribute of the state—an object of state policy, an ideological zone for the exercise of state power, or literally a creation of the state—whereas the state itself is comprehended in ways analogous to totalizing models of culture.

Keyword(s): gendermarginalitythe stateviolence

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  • Article Type: Review Article
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