HomeAsia-Pacific Social Science Reviewvol. 14 no. 2 (2014)

The Filipino Social Imagination in Regional Context

Niels Mulder

Discipline: Anthropology



Whereas the theme of this essay consists of a summary comparison and evaluation of the contents of social studies in Thai, Indonesian, and Philippine schools, it centers on the Philippine curriculum in order to identify the principles underlying the general perception of things social that seem to hold in the former two nation-states, too. As it appears that said contents obscure rather than clarify social life, the predominant imagination remains rooted in the practice of everyday life, and so the question is asked whether Thai and Indonesian nationalistic indoctrination leads to a clearer picture of wider society and a relatively higher degree of identification with the nation and its past. The evidence that it does, is not convincing, and so social life remains a nebulous sphere. In order to clarify it, certain didactic strategies are recommended, such as tracing the becoming of the respective nation-states. In such tying up of the past and the present, the evolution of and the continuities in basic social organisation and world view can be visualised while stimulating the social imagination.