Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

In another part of Thailand: Equality promotes cooperation

04.12.2008
The rural population of Thailand - which elected the incumbent government - is seen by opponents of the government, who are now demonstrating, as both easily bought and uninformed.

But Lena Örnberg, an economic historian at Lund University in Sweden, shows in her dissertation on contract farming and modernization that farmers do not have to be seen as victims. On the contrary, they reach well-informed decisions and have a clear picture of how the market works.

The events of the last few months in Bangkok in Thailand have exposed a huge rift in society. The ongoing conflict shows to what extent elitism determines the political agenda in the capital. In the San Sai district in northern Thailand, on the other hand, farmers' relation to the traditional elite - purchasers and government advisers - is characterized more by equality than by dependence. Equality creates a firm foundation for cooperation, and through formal and informal cooperation farmers in San Sai have succeeded in making use of the opportunities presented by the growing market.

In her study, including interviews with farmers, Lena Örönberg, at the School of Economics and management, Lund University, shows that the traditional structure in the countryside is beginning to break down. This is a phenomenon that is probably underway in other areas besides Chiang Mai, where San Sai is located, and that can have a positive effect on the entire country in the long run.

"In a society where there is flexibility and where hierarchies aren't so clear, it's more difficult for individuals to build up a position of power and exploit others. In San Sai, for example, there is competition among purchasers, and farmers have the possibility of switching if the conditions aren't right," says Lena Örnberg.

Government investments in agriculture that were carried out as early as the 1930s laid the groundwork for the relative equality that prevails today. But it is not self-evident that development will be positive merely because the government is making investments. Instead, the process can be seen as AN interplay between different groups that are competing for power and influence. In San Sai the relationship to the government has developed into one of support rather than control, and this cooperation is working well today. Farmers have also benefited from the growing market for potato chips. Since companies have been competing for the farmers rather than the other way around, farmers have strengthened their position.

"In San Sai, farmers have considerable room for negotiation. Many of them are entrepreneurs and come up with new solutions to problems. This also probably means that more of them will choose to remain in the agricultural sector, instead of looking for employment in services or industry."

The Farmer's Choice is a book that to some extent reflects the researcher's own background.

"The connection to my father and the province of Blekinge shows my frame of reference, but it's also a matter of farmers in Blekinge in the 1950s having a lot in common with those in San Sai today, and the processes that are underway are similar. My father also cultivated potatoes under contract, although the potatoes were used for starch, not for chips," says Lena Örnberg.

Lena Örnberg will publicly defend her dissertation Bondens val - system, samspel och stödjande strukturer under moderniseringsprocessen i norra Thailand (Farmer's choice - systems, interaction, and supporting structures during the modernization process in northern Thailand) at the Department of Economic History, School of Economics and management, Lund University, on December 6.

Contact Lena Örnberg at cell phone: +46 (0)706-18 96 67 or lena.ornberg@ehl.lu.se

Kristina Rörström | idw
Further information:
http://www.lu.se

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht Amazingly flexible: Learning to read in your thirties profoundly transforms the brain
26.05.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Kognitions- und Neurowissenschaften

nachricht Fixating on faces
26.01.2017 | California Institute of Technology

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Carbon Nanotubes Turn Electrical Current into Light-emitting Quasi-particles

Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers

Light-matter quasi-particles can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Material scientists and physicists from Heidelberg University...

Im Focus: Flexible proximity sensor creates smart surfaces

Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.

At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...

Im Focus: 3-D scanning with water

3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects

A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA mission surfs through waves in space to understand space weather

25.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Strength of tectonic plates may explain shape of the Tibetan Plateau, study finds

25.07.2017 | Earth Sciences

The dense vessel network regulates formation of thrombocytes in the bone marrow

25.07.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>