Abstract

This article discusses the repeated framing of Mien ethnic minority highland people as unmodern in relation to projects of modernity and modernization in Thailand. As upland livelihood has become increasingly precarious and entangled with state regulation, Mien people are engaging with national modernity and modernization through public displays that variously highlight their tradition or modernity or creatively combine the two. In this national space, modernization has hegemonic force and serves as the anchor to varied projects of self-fashioning in relation to modernity, including those of tradition. Articulations of tradition are one aspect of modernity, and the notion of ethnic groups as the carriers of tradition may be equally specific to modernity's conceptual schemes.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-1518
Print ISSN
0003-5491
Pages
pp. 673-704
Launched on MUSE
2004-12-22
Open Access
No
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