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Imagining Communities in Thailand Ethnographic Approaches

by Shigeharu Tanabe

Imagining Communities in Thailand Ethnographic Approaches Synopsis

This book explores newly emerging communities and the new practices, knowledge, and power relations that can no longer be explained adequately by the conventional conception of community. In the early 1980s, Benedict Anderson coined the term imagined communities to examine the creation and global spread of the nation-state as a collective fiction constructed in the homogeneous and empty time of modernity. Set against this conceptual background, the present volume focuses on the processes of imaging communities to explore how people imagine and create their own sense of knowledge, power, and identity. The essays in this volume consider the communal relations and properties of newly emerging or transforming communities, associations, and networks: the imagined family in shaping the modern Thai nation-state, the Asoke community of a new Buddhist movement, a Karen millenarian Buddhist community on the Thai-Myanmar border, networks of producers and sellers in the Night Bazaar of Chiang Mai, female factory workers in Lamphun, and HIV/AIDS self-help groups of northern Thailand. Taken together, these case studies demonstrate the possibilities of new communities in Thailand and provide a key reference for both students and scholars concerned with a critical approach to sociology, history, development studies, Southeast Asian studies, and anthropology.

Book Information

ISBN: 9789741339648
Publication date: 14th May 2008
Author: Shigeharu Tanabe
Publisher: Silkworm Books an imprint of Silkworm Books / Trasvin Publications LP
Format: Paperback / softback
Pagination: 230 pages
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About Shigeharu Tanabe

Shigeharu Tanabe is professor of anthropology at Otani University, Kyoto. He is the coeditor (with Charles F. Keyes) of Cultural Crisis and Social Memory: Modernity and Identity in Thailand and Laos.

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