Regional identity and tradition in a multiracial society in Thailand

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Sukjairungwattana P.

Abstract

This mixed methods study examined the influence of regional identity, tradition, and migration on the multiracial society in San Chao Rong Thong Market, Thailand. Quantitative surveys and qualitative interviews explored how the market has impacted local identity and traditions, the relationship between regional identity and migration patterns, and local contributions to developing a multiracial community. Findings show the market affected identity and tradition through ongoing assimilative changes yet persistence of key rituals and beliefs, especially among older generations. Regional identity and migration patterns are interdependent, with initial migrants shaping a distinctive Chinese identity reinforced through cultural preservation, holding economic significance. Locals contributed to multiracialism via cultural exchange, community cooperation, inclusive identity, governance participation, and transmitting multicultural values. Limitations include the localized sample, cross-sectional design, subjective data, translation issues, narrow focus on cultural maintenance, and need for more rigorous qualitative analysis. Overall, the market has influenced local identity and traditions through complex dynamics between assimilation, preservation, regionalism, migration, and multiculturalism. The Thai-Chinese community’s contributions have been integral in cultivating an inclusive, unified society. This exploratory study provides initial insights on navigating diversity from a grassroots perspective in a Thai market undergoing cultural changes.

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How to Cite
Sukjairungwattana , P. (2023). Regional identity and tradition in a multiracial society in Thailand. International Journal of Anthropology, 38(3-4), 235-262. https://doi.org/10.14673/IJA2023341112
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