The ‘Self’ in late-modernity is never singular but multiplies across different discourses, practices and positions. It is constructed through difference. It is only through a relation to the ‘Other’ that the ‘Self’ can be defined. This paper endeavours to map the endless negotiations of my ‘Self’ as male Australian academic of Chinese descent, a Malaysian citizen, a Bruneian resident, and an Indonesian specialist, over a period of fieldwork in Jakarta in 2004. It discusses how I defined my multiple ‘Selves’ to different individuals and communities, how they in turn defined me, and how these constructions were always shifting. Depending on the situation, it was my Australian ‘Self’ that defined me, or my Chinese, or Malaysian, or Bruneian, or even a local Indonesian ‘Self’ acquired over the period of fieldwork. Using the practice of self-reflexivity, this paper problematises the various dichotomies between the researcher and the researched, Self/Other, insider/outsider, native/foreign and home/away.
Locating Asian-Australian Cultures Symposium
City or Country
Monash University, Melbourne
HOON, Chang Yau.(2005). Defining (Multiple) Selves: Stories from the Field. Paper presented at the Locating Asian-Australian Cultures Symposium, Monash University, Melbourne.
Available at: http://ink.library.smu.edu.sg/soss_research/840