There has been competing views about gender relations in Thailand. On the one hand studies suggest that women status was underpinned by traditional institutions. In this view, the transformation has largely undermined women status. On the other hand women are viewed being oppressed by traditional patriarchal types of institutions, such as Buddhism. The transformation therefore serves to release women from being exploited. This book examines rural transformation taken place in rural the Northeast of Thailand, and considers how gender relations are implicated by these changes. It is argued that gender relations during the rapid transformation are fluid and ambivalent. The transformation in which households diversify their means to sustain their livelihoods generates a complex terrain in which new social relations are established. The transformation can result in either the decline or improvement resources women control. A decline tends to undermine their position, while increase in resources can enhance the leverage for negotiating their relationship.
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