Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/29926
Title: Transethnic Networks and Mon Identity/ies in Sangkhlaburi, Thailand
Authors: RYAN LIAM O'CONNOR
Keywords: Transethnicity, identity, ethno-nationalism, borderlands, migration, networks
Issue Date: 17-Aug-2011
Source: RYAN LIAM O'CONNOR (2011-08-17). Transethnic Networks and Mon Identity/ies in Sangkhlaburi, Thailand. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Sangkhlaburi, in the Thai-Myanmar borderlands, has historically been, and remains, at the confluence of many different competing states and cultural influences. Today, Sangkhlaburi is at the crossroads of Thailand, Myanmar, and an embryonic Mon nation-state which is seeking autonomy and internationally-recognised independence. This thesis is the product of ethnographic fieldwork conducted among the Mon- speaking community near Sangkhlaburi. Mons are a recognised ethnic minority in Myanmar, where violent conflict for national autonomy coupled with Myanmar's failing economy have led many to migrate to Thailand. By developing the concept of ?transethnicity? (Robinne 2008), this thesis posits that ethnic identity/ies can be better understood through looking at the impact of social and economic networks across different ethnic backgrounds. By paying particular attention to the patron-client networks which transcend ethnic and geographical boundaries, I have sought to understand the production and negotiation of Mon ethnic identity. This research project has sought to answer how the concept of transethnicity can contribute to an understanding of the lived realities of a particular linguistic-geographic community, specifically in the context of the Mon ethnic nationalist movement. This thesis will argue that whilst the Mon nationalist movement simultaneously depends on and caters to a group of internationally conscious Western human rights advocates, other Mons in Sangkhlaburi have developed a non-nationalist identity which caters to Thai tourists and is indicative a desire to gain acceptance into Thailand. The data will demonstrate that these social networks simultaneously produce and contest the Mon nationalist ethnic identity, whilst use of the internet serves to continue the dependence of Mon nationalists on sympathetic Westerners. The data I present in this thesis are based on four months of participant-observation, semi-structured interviews, along with content and discourse analysis on Mon nationalist news archives.
URI: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/29926
Appears in Collections:Master's Theses (Open)

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