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Chapter Summary

This front matter section of the book Social Dynamics in the Highlands of Southeast Asia contains table of contents, preface, list of contributors and notes on Edmund Leach’s analysis of Kachin society and its further applications. Part one discusses issues relating to Leach’s fieldwork, including the background to his research and issues arising from his fieldwork practice. Part two presents a variety of engagements with Leach’s theoretical approach, particularly his ideas of socio-political oscillation. This theory is considered in relation to the historical experience of culture contact in Assam and Laos, particularly between Tai and non-Tai groups. Part three considers once more Leach’s ideas with respect to communities that are, or could be considered, Kachin sub-groups in Burma, Tibet and Yunnan, this time focusing on interpretations of exchange and the notion of ritual language.

Keywords: Edmund Leach; Kachin society; social dynamics; Southeast Asia



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