Serious fun: Minority cultural dynamics and national integration in Thailand

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17 Scopus citations


In this article, I explore local social and cultural dynamics in the context of the national integration of ethnic minorities. My case concerns a Mien population in Thailand and describes various engagements of local and national spaces that center on issues of fun. Sports competitions and culture shows resonate with other projects that reinforce the centrality of villages in contemporary social life. For the Mien, these dynamics index a shift from the household to the village as the subject of action. Fun and games are not digressions from politics but are central to the serious play of everyday life.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)151-178
Number of pages28
JournalAmerican Ethnologist
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2001


  • Ethnic minorities
  • Ethnography
  • Fun
  • Mien (Yao)
  • National integration
  • Thailand
  • Village

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology


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