1st Edition

Living at the Edge of Thai Society The Karen in the Highlands of Northern Thailand

By Claudio Delang Copyright 2003
    264 Pages
    by Routledge

    264 Pages
    by Routledge

    The Karen are one of the major ethnic minority groups in the Himalayan highlands, living predominantly in the border area between Thailand and Burma. As the largest ethnic minority in Thailand, they have often been in conflict with the Thai majority. This book is the first major ethnographic and anthropological study of the Karen for over a decade and looks at such key issues as history, ethnic identity, religious change, the impact of government intervention, education land management and gender relations.

    1. Studying Peoples Often Called Karen Ronald D. Renard Part One: Negotiating an Ethnic Identity 2. Constructing Marginality: the 'Hill Tribe' Karen and their ShiftingLocations within Thai State and Public Perpectives Pinkaew Laungaramsri 3. Trapped in Environmental Discourses and Politics of Exclusion: Karen in the Thung Yai Naresuan Wildlife Sanctuary in the Context of Forest and Hill Tribe Policies in Thailand Reiner Buergin 4. Community Culture: Strengthening Persistence to Empower Resistence John McKinnon Part Two: Social Practices and Transformations: Courtship, Marriage, and Changing Sexual Morality 5. Living for Funerals: Karen Teenagers and Romantic Love Christina Lammert Fink 6. Morality, Sexuality and Mobility: Changing Moral Discourse and Self Yoko Hayami 7. When it is Better to Sing than to Speak: the Use of Traditional Verses (Hta) Roland Mischung Part Three: Social and Economic Adaptation to Government Intervention 8. Social Realities Opportunities and Constraints for the economic adaption to Government Intervention Claudio O. Delang 9. The Karen in Transition from Shifting Cultivation to Permanent Farming: Testing Tools for Participatory Land Use Planning at Local Level Oliver Puginier 10. The Politics of 'Karen-ness' in Thailand Charles Keyes


    Claudio Delang has been working and conducting fieldwork in Thailand since 1996. His publications include Suffering in Silence: The Human Rights Nightmare of the Karen People in Burma and Deforestation in Northern Thailand: the Result of Hmong Farming Practices of Thai Development Strategies?

    'One of the many strengths of this collection is that it expands the range of expertise involved to include geographers and other specialists in environmental and land use planning.' - Asian Affairs

    'This volume contains a number of scholarly and well researched papers of considerable value to Karen specialists and those concerned with the plight of highland minorities in Asia.' - Development and Change

    'This valuable and useful volume presents a variety of ethnographic explorations and it is clear, informative and authoritative.' - Ethnos