Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/142829
Title: THE ART OF BEING SMALL: EXPLORING THE TRANSNATIONAL WORLD OF LAO SMALL-SCALE TRADERS IN THE YUNNAN-LAOS-THAILAND BORDERLAND
Authors: SIMON CHRISTIAN ROWEDDER
ORCID iD:   orcid.org/0000-0003-0335-1036
Keywords: Yunnan-Laos-Thailand borderland,northern Laos,cross-border trade,transnational social space,banal cosmopolitanism,economic experimentation
Issue Date: 12-Jan-2018
Citation: SIMON CHRISTIAN ROWEDDER (2018-01-12). THE ART OF BEING SMALL: EXPLORING THE TRANSNATIONAL WORLD OF LAO SMALL-SCALE TRADERS IN THE YUNNAN-LAOS-THAILAND BORDERLAND. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: This thesis provides an ethnographic account of the borderland of Yunnan (Southwest China), northern Laos and northern Thailand in which socially and ethnically diverse cross-border traders mainly based in northern Laos are key actors in facilitating the circulation of Chinese and Thai commodities. I demonstrate for different contexts and sites of this borderland economy that their understudied centrality in fashioning multidimensional transnational social spaces resides in their rhetoric and performance of various facets of smallness, in a sense of seeming insignificant. A closer examination of their commonly shared downplaying language of ordinariness—discounting their efforts by referring to the convenience, easiness and triviality of crossing borders—reveals significant, but scholarly rather neglected, trajectories displaying high levels of mobility and “banal” cosmopolitan skills rooted in repertoires of flexibly experimenting with arising and changing transnational economic opportunities, which would have been obscured if employing conventional, larger narratives of transnational ethnicity and kinship.
URI: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/142829
Appears in Collections:Ph.D Theses (Open)

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