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Ref ID: 21373
Ref Type: Book (Edited)
Editors: Durrenberger, Paul
Title: State power and culture in Thailand
Date: 1996
Source: Yale University Southeast Asia Studies, Monograph Series
Place of Publication: New Haven, Connecticut
Publisher: Yale University Southeast Asia Studies
Notes: Description: In this book six anthropologists analyze various dimensions of the relationships between state power and culture in Thailand. Working far from the centers of power, anthropologists view Thailand from the peripheries. For Van Esterik, Grow, and O'Connor writing of Central Thai villagers, the periphery is social
for Tannenbaum writing of Tai, Bowie writing about slaves in northern Thailand, and Jónsson writing of highlanders, the periphery is geographical as well as social. One hallmark of anthropology is participant observation in communities where anthropologists study the powerless. States are located somewhere else. We do not find them on street corners, in peasant villages, or on fishing boats, or, by definition, among the powerless. We observe that power is associated with states, whether we see it coming from the barrel of a gun or from the barrel of a fountain pen. It is increasingly obvious in today's world, whether in dance performances (Grow), ritual (Tannenbaum), personal and regional histories (Bowie), the non-Thai peoples of the northern hills (Jónsson), or even the contemplation of the basic food, rice (O'Connor), or the very logic of nurturance of mother's milk (Van Esterik), that state power is pervasive. To understand local events and outlooks, we must contextualize them in terms of the machinations of states. Even though they cannot localize state power, the anthropologists whose work is collected here see states, their policies, their structures, and power as central objects of ethnographic description. The contributors bring anthropological ethnographic accounts to produce analyses that will be of wide interest in all of the social sciences as well as Asian Studies and history. Contents: The power of culture and the culture of states- E. Paul Durrenberger Nurturance and reciprocity in Thai studies- Penny Van Esterik Tarnishing the golden era: aesthetics, humor, and politics in <i>Lakhon Chatri</i> dance-drama- Mary L. Grow Rice, rule, and the Tai state- Richard A. O'Connor Slavery in nineteenth-century northern Thailand: archival anecdotes and village voices- Katherine Bowie Households and villages: the political-ritual structures of Tai communities- Nicola Tannenbaum Rhetorics and relations: Tai states, forests, and upland groups- Hjöleifur R. Jónsson
Date Created: 5/4/2015
Volume: 44
Page End: 216