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The Imagined of New Thainess Project PDF Print E-mail

The Imagined of New Thainess  Project


The Thai State, established around 100 years ago, had an intention to create the feeling of “Thainess” for everybody living in Thailand, this intention had been strongly emphasized during the government of Chief Marshall Pleak Phibulsongkhram. It has been noticeable that whether being aware or not, the Thai people in general consider the criteria of being Thai based on the way of living , command of Thai language, the clear spelling, etc., and again, those who consider themselves Thai tend to be alienated from people of different ethnicity who still  speak different mother tongue language and live their life  in different ways.


The ethnic groups clearly seen as different in ‘The Imagined Thainess ’ are the people who live in the high-lands called the hill-tribe people and the Malayu people in the Southern border provinces. This is one of the roots of the problems in the Southern border provinces and the original concept for the study of the New Thainess , aiming to support at least 3 processes of thinking :-


1. To stimulate new ideas about Thai Nation-State and Thainess

2. To create the content of the New Thainess to be communicated to the Thai society

3. To create a concrete way to work on the abstract notion of nation and Thainess in conflicting situation in order to help resolve the conflicts. This may contribute to the development of peaceful conflict resolution in the future.


The main goal is to create harmony among diverse groups of people in the Thai society through learning by doing method including:-


1.  Organizing dialogue at different places in form of small group discussion to, listen to ideas or  to brain-storm with different groups especially those considered different. The dialogue is organized in different ways such as home visits or deep discussions with groups of villagers, large group discussion may be organized once the concept is clear and an appreciate way to communicate with large groups of people is found.


2. Looking forward to communicating with the public in various ways such as songs, performances, drama, movies, books thus cultivating a popular culture.


3.  Researching on specific issues that need to be clarified.




Associate Professor  Kritaya Archavanitkul, Ph.D.   

Deputy Director for Academic Affair, Institute for Population and Social Research


Associate Professor  Anuchat Phuangsamlee, Ph.D.

Dean, Faculty of the Environment and Resource Studies , Mahidol University

Sriprapha Petcharamesree, Ph.D.

Director, Office of Human Rights Study and Social Development, Mahidol University


Paritta Chalermpow Koanantakool , Ph.D.

Director, Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Anthropology Centre

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Research Center for Peace Building (Old) Institute of Human Rights and Peace Studies, Mahidol University
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