Between Polygyny and Monogamy: Marriages of the Political Elite and the Thai Regime of Images
- Sojourn: Journal of Social Issues in Southeast Asia
- ISEAS–Yusof Ishak Institute
- Volume 33, Number 1, March 2018
- pp. 116-146
- View Citation
- Additional Information
The polygynous marriages of Thai kings traditionally fulfilled a range of vital political functions. Comparison between those marriages and the marriages of politicians active in the post-1932 constitutional regime era illustrate the continuing political significance of marriage in Thailand. Polygyny has become highly contextualized with different sections of Thai society operating according to varying marital norms. Performative monogamy is thus necessary. This situation suggests weaknesses in the Thai regime of images as it relates to the notional separation between public and private spheres and to the idea of multiple truths. Neither applies to the marriages of members of the Thai political elite.