SouthEast Asia

SouthEast Asia - CHAPTER TEN South eas t Asia CHAPTER...

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CHAPTER TEN Southeast  Asia CHAPTER OVERVIEW This  chapter  points  to  the  contrasts  and  contradictions  of a  region  where  some   countries  are  experiencing  dynamic  economic  growth  and  others  are  quite  poor.   Southeast  Asia  is an  ethnically  diverse  region  that  is spread  out  on  islands  and   peninsulas   over   a   very   large   area.   The   total   land   area   encompassed   is   about   half the  size  of the  continental  United  States,  but  the  population  of the  region  is  twice   that   of   the   United   States.   All   Southeast   Asian   nations   straddle   the   equator  closely  enough  to be considered  tropical  or subtropical;  all suffer  from  a   rapid  depletion  of their  natural  resource  base. The   strategic   location   of   Southeast   Asia   between   China   and   South   Asia   made  it an  ideal  location  for traders  from  Southwest  Asia  and  India.  Later  came   the   Europeans   and,   more   recently,   multinational   corporations.   Attempts   to  foster   more   complementarity   of   production   and   more   free   trade   among   the   emerging  nations  are  promising. Population  is distributed  very unevenly  over  the  region;  there  is dense  rural   population  along  coastlines,  and  the  populations  of some  islands  are  dense,  but   areas   with   difficult   terrain   are   sparsely   settled.   Birth   rates   in   most   of   the   countries   are   declining   and   life   expectancies   increasing.   Health   care   and   sanitary  conditions  are  improving,  but  still have  a  long  way  to go in  rural  areas   as   well   as   in   the   overcrowded   cities.   While   many   of   the   farmers   engage   in   agriculture  on  a part- time  basis,  crop  yields  are  so  good  that  some  countries  are   rice  exporters.   Although   many   of   the   societies   are   patriarchal,   women   often   look   after   household  finances,  work  outside  the  home,  and  may  live in  extended  families   with  the  wife’s relatives  rather  than  the  husband’s.  Because  the  economies  of  many  of the  countries  in  Southeast  Asia  are  experiencing   astonishing  growth   rates,  they  are  often  viewed  as  a model  for other  developing  countries.  When  the   phenomenon   of   the   “little   tigers”   (i.e.,   the   newly   industrializing   countries)   is  examined  more  closely,  however,  some  of these  countries  are  seen  to be  lacking   in   the   areas   of  human   rights   protection,   democratization,   gender   equity,   and   environmental  preservation. LEARNING OBJECTIVES
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This note was uploaded on 02/14/2011 for the course GEOG 101 taught by Professor Sheers during the Spring '08 term at George Mason.

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SouthEast Asia - CHAPTER TEN South eas t Asia CHAPTER...

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