Inequality and Habitus in Thailand

Lecture | October 7 | 4-5:30 p.m. | 3335 Dwinelle Hall

 Boike Rehbein, Professor of Society and Transformation in Asia and Africa, Humboldt University

 Center for Southeast Asia Studies

Thailand is a country of the global South but has never come under colonial rule, even as it emulates Western modernization. The result is a double-faced social structure, one part consisting of a precapitalist structure (baan muang) and the other comprising a hierarchy of social classes. People manage to move between the two components. This talk will explore Thai social structure and the habitus types and compare the Thai scenario with neighboring countries that are also based on a baan-muang structure but have been transformed by colonialism. The lecture is based on an empirical study consisting of more than 100 life-course interviews with different sections of the Thai population.

Boike Rehbein (Ph.D., University of Freiburg) is a specialist of mainland Southeast Asia, known in particular for his work on Laos. His most recent publications include Society in Contemporary Laos (2017); Inequality in Capitalist Societies (2017), co-authored with Surinder Jodhka and Jessé Souza; and the co-edited volume Globalization and Democracy in Southeast Asia: Challenges, Responses and Alternative Futures (2016), with Chantana Banpasirichote and Surichai Wungaeo., 510-642-3609