Ethnic Communities’ Contribution of Cultural Capital to Grassroots Economic Development in the Special Economic Zone
15 Pages Posted: 24 Feb 2022
Date Written: February 24, 2022
The means, motivations, and methods of host culture groups’ (indigenous people’s) contributions to the national and local economic development by means of eco- and cultural tourism in the border area of Tak province closely links cross-border Karen communities (between Thailand and the Karen State of Myanmar). Our research applied McGimsey’s educational model (1994), which views the value and meaning of education as aligned with the four core value guideposts of: associative symbolic, informational, aesthetic, and economic values. Utilizing thequalitative data gathering methods of participatory learning and action, whereby participants in the research engage in dialogic ethnographic interviews and set a portion of the research agenda by directing their own discursive trajectories, our research straddled the banks of the Moie River as the original geo-cultural place of the Karen people. The Karen community examined here possesses self-ascribed eco-cultural capital, comprised of rivers, forests, mountain, caves, petrified forests, varieties of rice, and Artistic Cultural Capital, all of which contribute to the ethnic, economic, and ecological linkages across the national border. Framing these within McGimsey’s values can reify a grassroots economic consciousness at the communal, geo-cultural level.
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