Mien alter-natives in Thai modernity

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11 Scopus citations


This article discusses the repeated framing of Mien ethnic minority highland people as unmodern in relation to projects of modernity and modernization in Thailand. As upland livelihood has become increasingly precarious and entangled with state regulation, Mien people are engaging with national modernity and modernization through public displays that variously highlight their tradition or modernity or creatively combine the two. In this national space, modernization has hegemonic force and serves as the anchor to varied projects of self-fashioning in relation to modernity, including those of tradition. Articulations of tradition are one aspect of modernity, and the notion of ethnic groups as the carriers of tradition may be equally specific to modernity's conceptual schemes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)673-704
Number of pages32
JournalAnthropological Quarterly
Issue number4
StatePublished - Sep 1 2004


  • Culture
  • Identity
  • Mien
  • Modernity
  • Modernization
  • Thailand

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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