Not Just About Money: Thai-Farang Marriages and Intimate Relationships
The Talk: In locations around the world, transnational marriages and intimacies become a viable option of women and men. Patcharin Lapanun explores Thai women –farang men marriages and complicates the bimodal views about materiality and intimacy within global intimacies. The sentiments and life stories of 8 women and men engaging in these transnational relationships highlight the complexities of the associa- tions that are shaped and reshaped by ‘love,’ money and gender obligations on the one hand and the dynamics of socio-cultural and historical contexts on the other.
Transnational marriages also challenge gender relations, perception on sexuality, marriage and family as well as the existing class division in rural Thai communities. Focusing on the ‘local end’ of transnational connections, Lapanun states that women with farang husbands have created a new ‘class’ determined by their distinctive consumption patterns and life styles. This dynamic challenges the village hierarchical structure and puts the village elites in a vulnerable position. Her in-depth examination highlights the important of women’s agency and the strength and creativity of people seeking to forge meaningful lives in the processes of social transition in the face of local and global encounters.
The Speaker: Dr. Patcharin Lapanun is a lecturer in Sociology and Anthropology and chair of the MA program in Sociology, Khon Kaen University (KKU). She earned her PhD in Anthropology from Vrije University, Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Her research interests include gender and development, migration and ‘the leftbehind’; transnational marriage and migration, global care regime and cross-border studies.
Alliance Française de Chiang Mai