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Project Details

Research approach

Participating scholars conceptualize Area Studies as relational and pursue transculturally-oriented research beyond Orientalism and Occidentalism. They focuse on everyday social practice in its complex plurality and sociocultural diversity. This is connected to cultural transfer and localization processes. Studying social, political, economic, cultural and historical phenomena in Southeast Asia must therefore transcend routine textual analysis. Rather than primarily relying on techniques of discourse analysis, Area Studies on Southeast Asia in Freiburg attaches great importance to empirical research based on extensive field work. While essentially pursuing a constructivist research agenda, it seeks to combine reflectivist approaches with rationalist theoretical arguments. This implies methodological pluralism seeking a convergence of methodologies derived both from hermeneutic and deductive-nomothetic epistemologies.


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Funding Agency

The Universitry of Freiburg's Southeast Asian Studies program was funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) under the latter's program for promoting and strengthening Area Studies in the Federal Republic of Germany. The project in Freiburg was titled Grounding Area Studies in Social Practice.

Time frame

15 November 2009 - 31 October 2013 (1st funding period)

1 November 2013 - 30 April 2016 (2nd funding period)



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