Although in recent years newspapers and journals have been full of reports about family politics in the Philippines, the growing economic might of President Suharto's children and the business holdings of the Thai royal family, the “family” has only recently emerged as a subject of serious study in the historiography of Southeast Asia (McCoy 1993 and Andaya 1992 and 1994). Barbara Andaya's study of Southeast Sumatra in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries is the first sustained examination of the significance of kinship for understanding political and economic relations in the history of any part of Southeast Asia (Andaya 1993). One of the most important reasons for the neglect of the family as a major historical topic, to extend the argument made by Craig Reynolds in a recent critique of writing on modern Thai history, is that historians of Southeast Asia generally have tended to focus less on gender or power relations in the region, and more on questions of male “power” and historical “structures” (Reynolds 1994).

The text of this article is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.