Resisting Universalistic Feminist and Queer Hegemonic Discourses: An Emic Model of Thai Gender and Sexuality
Ritsumeikan Center for Asia Pacific Studies Working Paper No. 10-1
19 Pages Posted: 13 Jul 2010
Date Written: July 13, 2010
The present study compares and contrasts some of the etic and emic models that have been employed in order to explain gender and sex in Thailand. Foucault’s concept of bio-power is shown to be inappropriate to explain gender in Thailand. One of the most well known emic models of Thai culture, the decha-khuna model developed by Niels Mulder is expanded to explain gender and sex in Thailand and is shown to be more appropriate than etic models derived from different socio-historical circumstances. The paper concludes that the Thai concept of gender revolves around the dimensions of degree of domestication of the sphere of existence in which the person mostly operates and of the relative moral goodness of the person’s role rather than being centered on sexual preference.
Keywords: Thailand, Gender, Kathoey, Sexuality, Bio-power, Tom, Dee, Homosexuality
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