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Burr, Angela M.R. (1969) A study of Thai society: A critique of the "loose structure" concept and an alternative model suggested. MPhil thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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The 'loose structure' concept was originated by Embree in his article 'Thailand: a loosely structured social system' in 1950. The aim of this thesis is a critique of this article as it relates to Thai society and the school of thought that has grown up around it. Firstly, in order that the reader may familiarise himself with what Embree actually said, and does not have to rely on a possible misinterpretation by the author, Embree's original article, in which he evolved the loose structure concept, has been inserted at the beginning so that Embree may be allowed to speak for himself. Then, after a few of the major methodological issues are discussed in tie introduction, a critique of Embree's article and the major ideas of the loose structure school of thought will be attempted. Finally, an alternative model for the future study of Thai society is suggested. However, before commencing, it must be pointed out that when this thesis was near completion Yale University published a collection of papers entitled 'Loosely Structured Social Systems: Thailand in Comparative perspective' which is a detailed discussion of this particular concept. Obviously such a book is very relevant to this and involves a virtually definitive study of the loose structure concept. Thus many of the points made by the authors of the book overlap with the points made in this thesis. Where this has occurred' it has been noted, and where the Yale Symposium has introduced fresh points, they have, where possible, been included in the discussion. But it must be born in mind that the thesis was in an advanced stage when the Yale articles were published. It has not always therefore -been possible to deal with all the fresh points introduced by the Yale thesis adequately for at this late stage it has been impossible to restructure the thesis in a manner necessary to do so.

Item Type: Theses (MPhil)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:14

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