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Gatty Lecture, Katie Rainwater, "Thailand's Rural Proletariat"

Thursday, November 8, 2018 at 12:00pm

Kahin Center
640 Stewart Ave, Ithaca, NY 14850, USA

Katie Rainwater, PhD Candidate, Development Sociology, Cornell University

Thailand’s Rural Proletariat: Rethinking Power Relations Through Focus on the Farmed Shrimp Sector

Six years after the EMS disease first infected Thai shrimp, the number of farmers in Thailand’s shrimp sector has been reduced to just 7,000 from 25,000. This decline is likely permanent because small-scale Thai farmers are increasingly unable to compete with capital-intensive farms in Thailand and small-scale farmers in less developed Asian economies. The plight of small-scale shrimp farmers is used as a lens to consider the relationship of rural Thai people with Thai agribusiness and the Thai state. My findings complicate both the thesis that Thai farmers are a proletariat exploited by upstream capital and the thesis that rural Thais are peasants whose political consciousness centers on winning subsidies from the state. 

Lunch will be provided.

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Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies, Development Sociology, Southeast Asia Program



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James Nagy

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Katie Rainwater

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Department of Development Sociology, Cornell University

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