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Title: Women, family and factory work in Northern Thailand : an anthropological study of a Japanese factory and its workers villages.
Author: Hirai, Kyonosuke.
Awarding Body: London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
Current Institution: London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
Date of Award: 1998
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This thesis discusses how rural young women cope with the modern capitalist system and how their industrial experiences affect their family life, based on participant observation both in a Japanese-owned assembly factory and in its workers' villages, in Lamphun, Northern Thailand. The thesis is divided into three parts: the first deals with the traditional notions of work and femininity, the second with factory interactions, and the third with the influence of factory employment on family life. The first part examines the connotations and interactions of iigai:, meaning work and rites, and the gender and family ideology that control young women's labour and sexuality. The second part of the thesis looks at the experience of young women in the factory, and we see how each of the village women, utilising both her ready-made values and new values relating to factory employment, is struggling for power and honour in factory interactions. The analysis of the hierarchical relations in the factory pays particular attention to how Thai workers' practices, which Japanese managers neglect as personal affairs, structure, reshape and control labour relations and the production process. Moreover, in analysing cultural practices not directly relating to work, romantic stories, spirit mcdiumship and catalogue consumption, we sec how desires for modernity and autonomous self-images are produced in factory interactions. Moving back to the village again, the final part shows how factory women's selfimage and ideal life, constructed in factory interactions, affect their family relationships, courtship, housesvork and home consumption. In the conclusion I argue that the factory provides the women with an opportunity for enjoying cultural imagining relating to female sexuality and gender, which on the one hand largely affect the operation of the factory system, and on the other arc linked with their cultural transformation at home.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Anthropology Anthropology Folklore