Accepted Paper:

Thai diaspora studies: future directions  

Author:

Ratana Tosakul (Thammasat University)

Paper short abstract:

The paper discusses the historicity of intellectual and political influences on the shifting conceptual approaches of diaspora studies of Thailand over the past fifteen years.

Paper long abstract:

The paper reviews and analyzes theoretical approaches of diaspora studies adopted by anthropologists affiliated with major academic institutions in Thailand over the past fifteen years. The paper discusses the historicity of intellectual and political influences on the shifting conceptual approaches of diaspora studies of Thailand. Recent studies of diaspora (and transnational anthropology) in Thailand have been influenced by the postmodern theory and conditions. Many have become global anthropologists through their higher educational training overseas. They have refined and developed western models with the use of anthropological field research data emphasizing on local knowledge and concepts. Diasporas are cultural phenomena. Contemporary culture of peoples who are mobile has become increasingly glocalized, reflecting the nature of local and global cultural assemblage. Within the context of global shifts in the movement of peoples, a classical paradigm of cultural and ethnic identities bounded by a village community and a nation-state has come into question. Emerging diasporic movements and communities have the potentials for investigating and conceptualizing a range of new cultural and ethnic identities. Recent key theoretical strands contributed by some anthropologists in Thailand relating to newer studies of diaspora and ethnic identities tend to emphasize the dynamic and complex acts of cultural construction involved in the social processes and consequently the necessary multiple, fluid and often over-determined the nature of disaporic conditions.

Panel P115
The perspective of glocalization: addressing the changing society and culture under globalization