The Social Sciences

Year: 2016
Volume: 11
Issue: 3
Page No. 301 - 310

Symbolic Capital for the Construction of Social Space of the Thai Nation Co-Developers in Northeast Thailand

Authors : Ninlawadee Promphakping, Maniemai Thongyou and Viyouth Chamruspanth

Abstract: This study examines the use of the communist symbol as symbolic capital to create the social space of the Thai Nation Co-developers. The target group of this study is the Phu-Tai ethnic group in a village of the Northeast of Thailand, who previous joined the Communist Party of Thailand (CPT) and later changed into the Thai Nation Co-developers. The CPT declared the event, when the authorities raided an armed group of villagers in this village as the first gun fire day, the official announcement of the CPT’s intention to win state power using armed force. Consequently, villagers in this village and those who joined the CPT were labeled as communist insurgents. This stigma remains, albeit the government imposed a reconciliation policy (66/2533), under which the ‘communist insurgents’ were granted the status of ‘Thai Nation Co-Developers’ (TNCD). The researchers are interested in this group of people which are generally weak in terms of economic capital. The question guiding the investigation is to what extent these people can employ non-economic capital to create social space. This study employed qualitative methodology to obtain the required data. The study found that the word ‘communist’ was reproduced and given new meanings by the villagers through; making the village to become ‘a historical village’, revitalizing the history of the struggle through the ceremony of the first gun 1st day, commercialization of the communist symbol, incorporating the history involving the CPT into the local school curriculum and reproducing the history and social memories through academic papers, cyberspace, songs and movies. In this respect, the communist symbol has been employed to create the social space of the Phu-Tai ethnic group of this village.

How to cite this article:

Ninlawadee Promphakping, Maniemai Thongyou and Viyouth Chamruspanth, 2016. Symbolic Capital for the Construction of Social Space of the Thai Nation Co-Developers in Northeast Thailand. The Social Sciences, 11: 301-310.

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