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Mougne, Christine (1981) The social and economic correlates of demographic change in a northern Thai community. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI: https://doi.org/10.25501/SOAS.00028937

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Abstract

In this study, changes in the social and economic structure of a Northern Thai community are analysed in terms of demographic change. Although primarily an empirical study, it is hoped also to contribute to two associated theoretical problems. The first concerns the relationship between economic and demographic change in the process of social evolution. It is argued that rather than one or other variable being 'independent', such changes are a result of complex interaction between the variables over time. The second stems from the debate on the nature of Northern Thai social structure. Here the value of incorporating an analysis of demographic change in an anthropological study is exemplified by the evidence that apparent inconsistencies and contradictions found in the literature on communities in Northern Thailand can be explained to a large extent by an examination of their individual demographic histories. Fieldwork was conducted in Ban Pong Village in Chiengmai Province of Northern Thailand between 1972 and 1974. Following settlement of the village in the 1880s, the valley was gradually cleared for irrigated rice cultivation by a slowly growing population of migrants. Dominance by a minority of the population of the important local trade in fermented tea in the 1920s and 1930s at a time when land resources in the valley were almost exhausted and economic conditions had forced a number of farmers to sell their land, opened the way to the extreme economic polarization found in the community today. The problems facing the community have been compounded by the rapid growth of population occurring since the early 195os, which is largely the result of a decline in infant mortality. A family planning programme introduced to Ban Pong in 1967 provoked an immediate response, and within two years over 40% of fertile married women were using a modern method of birth control. The concomitant changes in marriage and residence patterns are considered in relation to population growth and fertility control.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier): https://doi.org/10.25501/SOAS.00028937
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:04
URI: https://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/28937

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