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Title: "For King and Country"?: The Thai Yellow Shirts Movement as a Struggle for Class Recognition
Authors: ALLAN LEE
Keywords: Social Movements, Thai Politics, Social Closure, Class Dynamics, Emotions in Mobilization
Issue Date: 15-Aug-2011
Citation: ALLAN LEE (2011-08-15). "For King and Country"?: The Thai Yellow Shirts Movement as a Struggle for Class Recognition. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Political conflict in Thailand is characterized by the frequent appearance of social movements. In this vein, the series of confrontations between the Red shirts and the Yellow shirts must be seen as a contemporary manifestation of historically embedded struggles for power and recognition. While extensive work has been done on the Red shirts movement, there is a significant dearth of work on the Yellow-shirt movement. Accordingly, this thesis aims to contribute to the literature on social movements in Thailand by providing a focused analysis of the Yellow shirts movement. Next, scholarly work on Thai social movements has tended to frame the movement, too often, as a product of intra-elite struggle. While accurate, these explanations are insufficient in accounting for the motivation behind the participants? involvement. Furthermore, in conceptualizing the movement as a `middle class? movement, we are caught in the process of reifying `class? as a social category. Thus, this thesis attempts to depart from the common conceptualization of the Yellow shirts as a `middle class? movement. Conversely, it emphasizes an analytical framework centered around an understanding of ?social closure? as the dynamic struggle between forces of exclusion and monopolization on the one hand and the forces of usurpation and opportunity hoarding on the other. In addition, this thesis highlights the significance of emotions as both a motivation and resource for mobilization. Drawing on a combination of qualitative methods of interviews as well as content and discourse analyses, this thesis argues that recent Yellow shirts movement is best understood as an attempt by various groups to counter and contest their gradual economic, political and social exclusion by the Thai state and elites.
Appears in Collections:Master's Theses (Open)

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