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Title: Rural homestay : interrelationships between space, social interaction and meaning in northern Thailand
Author: Oranratmanee, Rawiwan
ISNI:       0000 0001 3459 5151
Awarding Body: Oxford Brookes University
Current Institution: Oxford Brookes University
Date of Award: 2009
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Home, the most significant thing in man's life, still experiences various changes within the society of which it is a part. Realising this, the thesis sets out to understand home and the changes it undergoes when it is commercialised as 'homestay', a tourist lodging in a private home. It achieves this by investigating three homestay villages in Northern Thailand, in tenus of activities, space use and objects; social interaction; and meanings of home. Taking a qualitative approach, it integrates methods from the anthropological and architectural disciplines to explore these categories and synthesise their interrelationships, thereby deriving the conclusions and implications. The contribution of lmowledge includes: 1) exploration of the interrelationships between space, social interaction, and meanings in the home environment; . .2) the theoretical discussion of homestay relating to the context of home, home commercialisation, tourism and hospitality, and vernacular traditions and; 3) an integrative research model for studying physical, social and cultural relationships, which deepens and widens ways of seeing and understanding relationships between people, place and ideas. The strength of this thesis is the interdisciplinary study bridging three disciplines: architecture, anthropology and tourism. The thesis shows the centrality of spatio-social analysis of domestic space, as defined by local actors themselves, to understanding the process and impacts of homestay development, thus providing strong empirical basis of . socio-cultural processes. The work documents by text and graphics the cycle of rural life along with that of tourism, the researcher's experiences as a guest inside homestay villages and houses, and the changes in the case study villages being vulnerable to the impacts of rural tourism. It demonstrates the explanatory potential of anthropology and architecture combined while paying ~ttention to the dimension of tourism and vernacular traditions. The empirical findings have shown that homestay is a national tourism policy brought to rural villages which aims to develop social and economic aspects of rural villages and regions. From all three case studies, though there are social and cultural distinctions, strong relationships were found between the spatial characteristics of rural houses and the social interactions produced in them. The characteristics of the space and the hospitality of the people ease the establishment and implementation of homestay and, it is the meaning of home, perceived by the inhabitants, that allows the use of a rural home for economic purposes. Identification of these findings leads to an understanding of why the home is commercialised as homestay for the economic well-being of the family, what happens inside heime and how homestay inhabitants cope with their lives along with commercialisation. The thesisconcltides by emphasiSing the need to assess, reconsider, clarify and redefine the terms, concepts, practices and controls of homestay in Northern Thailand. Further research. is needed to fill gaps in 'lmowledge and answer questions about homestay practices i~ Northern Thailand and international conteh'ts. The· thesis emphasises the need for interdisciplinary study of the dialectic relationship between people, place and' ideas in the diversified context of change, not only in the fields being studied herein but in other fields that seekmulti-dimensional understandings ofthe environment.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available