ASIAN 480 - Topics in Asian Studies
Section: 002 Thailand: Culture, Society and Politics
Term: FA 2017
Subject: Asian Studies (ASIAN)
Department: LSA Asian Languages & Cultures
Waitlist Capacity:
May be elected four times for credit. May be elected more than once in the same term.
Primary Instructor:

While maintaining its independence during the colonial era, Thailand was subsequently engulfed by Cold War politics and is now deeply entangled in global politics, capitalism and migration. How has the shift from a small, agrarian kingdom to a contemporary hotspot for industry, tourism and media transformed Thai society and culture? This course will examine important developments in modern Thai history, and the crucial Thai institutions and actors that have shaped social change over the last century. These include the monarchy, the military, bureaucrats, politicians, business groups, religious institutions, the mass media, non-governmental organizations, workers, peasants and students.

Particular emphasis will be placed on exploring the post World War II transformation of Thai society and culture in response to the challenges of nation-building, capitalist development, democratization and globalization. We will investigate how various dimensions of Thai social life have been reinvented over the last century. Topics that will be explored include: kinship and household dynamics; race and ethnicity; gender and sexuality; migration and rural development; electoral politics and citizenship; economic growth and environmental degradation; civil society and social movements; tourism and cultural heritage; religion and conflict; and popular culture and the mass media.

Readings will be interdisciplinary in nature, drawing on scholarship from history, literature, political science, economics, sociology, anthropology and religious studies.

Course Requirements:

Attendance and Participation 10% - Class presentation 10% - Reading Responses 30% - Essay 20% - Final project & paper 30%

Intended Audience:

This course is appropriate for juniors, seniors and MA students. No prior knowledge of Thai language, history or culture is necessary. All students who are interested in Asian Studies, International Studies, History, Sociology, Anthropology, Political Science and Religion are welcome.

Class Format:

A single 180-minute seminar per week, composed of short lectures, student presentations and collaborative, critical discussions.

ASIAN 480 - Topics in Asian Studies
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
TuTh 10:00AM - 11:30AM
002 (SEM)
M 6:00PM - 9:00PM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.

ISBN: 9786162150746
Finding their voice : Northeastern villagers and the Thai state, Author: Charles Keyes. 2014
ISBN: 9786162151064
Luk Thung: The Culture and Politics of Thailand's Most Popular Music, Author: James Mitchell, Publisher: University of Washington Press 1ST 2015
Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

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