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  Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Anthropology Centre
Ethnic Groups Research Database
Sorted by date | title

   Record

 
Subject Ethnicity, conflict, transnational labor, refugee, Burma
Author Nicholas Ford
Title Some Reflections of Ethnic Identity of Refugee Migrants from Burma to Thailand
Document Type Article Original Language of Text -
Ethnic Identity - Language and Linguistic Affiliations -
Location of
Documents
- Total Pages 6 Year 2012
Source Nicholas Ford. “Some Reflections of Ethnic Identity of Refugee Migrants from Burma to Thailand” in Journal of Population and Social Studies, Volume 21 Number 1, July 2012: 39-46.
Abstract

Ethnicity concepts are divided into two types: primordialism and situationalism. This article was analyzed through the political ethnic conflict framework and ethnic perspectives in Southeast Asia with a focus on the relationship between mountainous and lowland geographical aspects and political and cultural evolution. In terms of cultural history, there was an increasing difference between the mainstream culture and the ethnic minority forms of culture. Highlanders loosely cooperated in the political and economic systems, while lowlanders were fundmental to the emergence of contemporary kingdoms and nation states. Academics compared the emergence of a kingdom to the solar system with one center rather than many centers in the system (p.40). Thongchai Winitkul (1994) claimed that, during the colonization period, there were attempts to draw up the map of Siam. There was a process to change ambiguous identities of minority ethnic groups in the highland by drawing up clear demarcation lines. The change of the Thai-Burmese borders in the areas of hilltribes indicated problems of the populations in the two countries, making them minority groups in both Thailand and Myanmar (p. 41). Yelvington (1991) stated that an identity of a group, particularly an ethnic identity, was defined by others through nearby entities. The important issue depended on the description of fundamental characteristics through membership in comparative and narrative terms (p. 42). Furnival (1958) noted that primordialism was related to internal satisfaction from group loyalty which was deep-rooted in culture. Taylor (1987) and Keyes (1979) defined situationalism as instrumental utilities to seize ethnicity from situational benefits, which was usually overcome by a superior group (p. 42). Eller & Coughlan (1993) pointed out that there was numerous evidence to indicate continuous reinforcement and reproduction of ethnic identities, leading to changes, multi-forms, multi-levels, and individual acceptance about ethnic differences (p. 43). David Brown (1996) summarized six types of the ethnic division and conflict in the nation state as follows:
1. Ethnic diversity is a nation state with cultures of new and independent groups, which led to political fragility.
2. Ethnic nationalism is the foundation of unequal regional development and internal colonization.
3. Conflicts in places where primordialism is threatened by ethnic groups from other places
4. Conflicts due to activities of highland minority groups
5. Conflicts from the combination of the above four items
6. The ethnic division concept is specially complicated because it is a clear immediate phenomenon but is a symbol indicative of certain situations.
 Items 1-4 were related to the ethnic conflicts in Myanmar. The deeply divisive relationships between the Burmese governments and the ethnic groups were aggravated by the bloodshed of villagers in different regions by the Burmese soldiers.

Text Analyst Kriangkamon Theerasaksophon Date of Report Jun 08, 2019
TAG Ethnicity, conflict, transnational labor, refugee, Burma, Translator -
 
 

 

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