Institutional Scholarship

Recognizing Village Publics: Cultural Citizenship and the State in Northeastern Thailand

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dc.contributor.advisor Fraga, Christopher Michael Songkunnatham, Peera 2015-06-23T13:56:39Z 2015-06-23T13:56:39Z 2015
dc.description.abstract In the current political crisis of Thailand, particularly after the military takeover in May 2014, the question of who gets to belong is increasingly at stake. Taking up the category of "villagers" as second-class citizens, my ethnographic thesis explores the complex relationships between Lao-speaking rural villagers and the Thai state in contemporary northeastern Thailand. Advocating for the recognition of villagers' habits of democratic behavior, I argue against cultural constructions of "villagers" as politically deficient people in need of training and tutelage before they could legitimately participate in the country's democracy. As a participant-observer, I show how villagers develop their political subjectivity, becoming what I call "villager-citizens," through informal social gatherings I call "village publics." In so doing, I rethink and expand on the "new citizens" concept proposed by a group of Thai scholars. Discussions include alcohol and raw fish consumption, populist policies and sufficiency economy, unrecognized voices in village meetings, and police arrest of drug-using monks. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship Swarthmore College. Dept. of Sociology & Anthropology en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.rights Full copyright to this work is retained by the student author. It may only be used for non-commercial, research, and educational purposes. All other uses are restricted.
dc.title Recognizing Village Publics: Cultural Citizenship and the State in Northeastern Thailand en_US
dc.type Thesis (B.A.)

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