The recent importance of sports competitions and cultural displays among highland ethnic minorities in Thailand suggests a growing resonance of national forms of sociability and presentability. A national contact zone simultaneously provides a context for unprecedented ethnic mobilization and identification among the country's minorities. Taking the case of Thailand's Mien (Yao), I explore the restructuring of social life that emerges with this ethnic mobilization for sports and culture. These activities produce an identity effect that defines Mien in national terms. The ability and need to organize in relation to the nation facilitates the position of a select few Mien villages as the bearers of social life and cultural traditions, and imports new forms of inequality into local life.
- National integration
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)