Thai Women in the Global Labor Force: Consuming Desires, Contested Selves / Edition 1

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Overview


Most research on female labor migration in Thailand focuses on that country's infamous sex industry. Mary Beth Mills offers the first extended ethnographic analysis of rural women's movement into less visible occupations, paying particular attention to the hundreds of thousands of young women who fill the factories and sweatshops of the Bangkok metropolis. Mills follows the women as they travel from the village of Baan Naa Sakae to Bangkok, where they encounter new forms of consumption, new "modern" lifestyles, and a new sense of identity. She finds this rural-urban migration is more than a simple economic activity, but rather an elaborate process of cultural change.

Mills describes the environments from which these women left, as well as the urban landscape they now call home. Hence, she examines key aspects of rural Thai community life, such as local consumption practices, gender roles, and the familial tensions that are often the catalyst to labor migration. Then she focuses on the city and the underlying tensions of urban employment as migrants pursue newly imagined identities as modern women, while still upholding economic and moral responsibilities to rural kin.

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What People Are Saying

Penny Van Esterik
From Penny Van Esterik, Professor of Anthropology, York University

By writing powerfully and sensitively about Thailand's increasingly feminized workforce, Mary Beth Mills has provided the ethnography with enough theoretical power to generate important questions for the next decade.

Diane L. Wolf
From Diane L. Wolf, author of Factory Daughters

Mills presents a thorough and complex picture of the kinds of changes and challenges confronting young Thai women today.

Diane L. Wolf
Mills presents a thorough and complex picture of the kinds of changes and challenges confronting young Thai women today.
(Diane L. Wolf, author of Factory Daughters.)
Penny Van Esterik
By writing powerfully and sensitively about Thailand's increasingly feminized workforce, Mary Beth Mills has provided the ethnography with enough theoretical power to generate important questions for the next decade.
(Penny Van Esterik, Professor of Anthropology, York University.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813526546
  • Publisher: Rutgers University Press
  • Publication date: 4/28/1999
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 238
  • Sales rank: 1,024,774
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.04 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Figures
Acknowledgments
1 Women, Migration, and Thai Experiences of Modernity 1
2 Village and Nation 26
3 Cash, Commodities, and Modernity 47
4 Parents, Children, and Migration Decisions 74
5 Gender and Mobility 92
6 Bangkok Wage Workers 109
7 Consumption, Desire, and Thansamay Selves 127
8 Courtship, Marriage, and Contested Selves 147
9 Gender and Modernity, Local and Global Encounters 163
Notes 171
Glossary of Thai Words and Pronunciation Guide 187
References 193
Index 203
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