Exploring the myriad ways that status and stratification manifest in different cultural
contexts, this collection presents in-depth studies of a variety of cultural forms in Asia.
The first of its three parts focuses upon status concepts among the Japanese, providing
case studies that examine the special professional status of doctors in feudal Japan, the
offspring of fugitive warrior clans in agrarian communities today, ten centuries later, and
personal accounts of celebrity sports figures reflecting upon how they are regarded by their
fans. The second part shifts the focus to East Asia, presenting cases of late imperial China,
contemporary Taiwan and Korea to investigate how different kinship groups define statusand stratification. The third part then turns to Southeast Asia, including Jakarta, Bali and
Hanoi, examining the cultural forms of status in local health care services, public security
activities, and the interactions between labourers and their employers. All of these studies
are based upon culturally-sensitive qualitative fieldwork and thus offer a much deeper understanding of these phenomena than conventional quantitative studies.