Universitas Gadjah Mada’s Centre for Southeast Asian Studies (PSSAT) in cooperation with Faculty of Cultural Sciences UGM held a discussion on a book titled Methodology and Research Practice in Southeast Asian, which is opinion of scientists in Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand and Germany who focus on Southeast Asia studies.
The event is part of the World Class Professor #2 (WCP #2) programme, presenting Professor Judith Schlehe and Professor Jürgen Rüland from Freiburg University, editor of the book, Dr. Pujo Semedi Hargo Yuwono, M.A., reviewer, in the Faculty’s Auditorium of Poerbatjaraka on Thursday (14/9).
Jürgen Rüland said that research method that is universal can be applied also in Southeast Asia because the particular research method that is often adopted by anthropologists or historians is not systemic, biased, while difficult to compare with other research.
Anthropologist Judith Schlehe opposed this ideas, saying that research has to be contextualised with social, economic, and cultural context that is found on the field. The biased factor can be avoided if since the beginning, researchers have set the partiality towards the research, allowing the readers to know the researcher’s tendency. Judith, however, admitted the unavailability of concensus among scientists related to the right method to be applied in the region. She encouraged Southeast Asian researchers to make innovation by creating a new method that is suitable as well as doing collaborative research with sienctists from other disciplines.
Dr. Pujo Semedi Hargo Yuwono, M.A. said the idea proposed by Professor Jürgen Rüland was an old idea that is no longer relevant. The comparative research discourse is no longer sufficient for Southeast Asia. According to Pujo, relational research is more suitable. Pujo also reminded that the collaborative or innovative research idea can erode the scientific identitiy of the researchers. “Social scientists are divided on the issue, some consider it a problem, others take it as normal,” he added.