Abstract

This essay explores how Thai transmigrants practice middle-classness by forging alliances with middle-class Whites and cultivating patronage from elites in Thailand. It suggests that simultaneously engaging with local and transnational networks and two sets of cultural codes have become defining characteristics of Thai American middle-class practices. Such practices challenge equating social categories with social groups, deconstruct the false "two Buddhisms" dichotomy, and show that Thai Americans experience greater structural limitations in the United States than in Thailand, as the effects of racialized identity politics and the asymmetrical positions which Thailand and the United States occupy in the global power structure.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1096-8598
Print ISSN
1097-2129
Pages
pp. 163-190
Launched on MUSE
2009-05-06
Open Access
No
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