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The Conceptual Allure of the West: Dilemmas and Ambiguities of Crypto-Colonialism in Thailand

The Conceptual Allure of the West: Dilemmas and Ambiguities of Crypto-Colonialism in Thailand

Chapter:
(p.173) 8 The Conceptual Allure of the West: Dilemmas and Ambiguities of Crypto-Colonialism in Thailand
Source:
The Ambiguous Allure of the West
Author(s):
Michael Herzfeld
Publisher:
Hong Kong University Press
DOI:10.5790/hongkong/9789622091214.003.0009

This chapter explores the indeterminacy of cultural influence, arguing that in matters as apparently discrete as the use of space, dress, and eating habits and the language of popular science, a peculiarly local idiom of governmentality in Thailand rests on the ambiguity about origins and attitudes. It also explores, through comparisons of Thailand with Greece and other countries, the dynamics of “crypto-colonialism”: the condition in which the very claim of independence marks a symbolic as well as material dependence on intrusive colonial power.

Keywords:   cultural influence, popular science, governmentality, Thailand, cryto-colonialism

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