Youth Culture and Identity in Northern Thailand: Fitting In and Sticking Out, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Youth Culture and Identity in Northern Thailand

Fitting In and Sticking Out, 1st Edition

By Anjalee Cohen

Routledge

216 pages | 5 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9780815356615
pub: 2020-05-15
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Description

Youth Culture and Identity in Northern Thailand examines how young people in urban Chiang Mai construct an identity at the intersection of global capitalism, state ideologies and local culture.

Drawing on over 15 years of ethnographic research, the book explores the impact of rapid urbanisation and modernisation on contemporary Thai youth, focusing on conspicuous youth subcultures, drug use (especially methamphetamine use) and violent youth gangs. Anjalee Cohen shows how young Thai people construct a specific youth identity through consumerism and symbolic boundaries - in particular through enduring rural/urban distinctions. The suggestion is that the formation of subcultures and ‘deviant’ youth practices, such as drug use and violence, are not necessarily forms of resistance against the dominant culture, nor a pathological response to dramatic social change, as typically understood in academic and public discourse. Rather, Cohen argues that such practices are attempts to ‘fit in and stick out’ in an anonymous urban environment.

This volume is relevant to scholars in Thai Studies, Southeast Asian Studies, Anthropology, Sociology, Urban Studies and Development Studies, particularly those with an interest in youth, drugs, and gangs.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Chiang Mai: Urbanization and Community
  3. Youth Agency and Identity in Chiang Mai
  4. Dek Inter and the Other: Youth subcultures in Chiang Mai City
  5. Moral Panics and Symbolic Scapegoats: Thailand’s Social Order Campaign and the "War on Drugs"
  6. Youth and Ya Ba use in Chiang Mai
  7. Youth Gangs: Masculinity, Violence and Local Culture
  8. Conclusion

About the Author

Anjalee Cohen is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Sydney, Australia

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Anthropology

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOC002000
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / General