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Family strategies and social organization in southern thailand.

Author: EMANUEL JOHN POLIOUDAKIS
Publisher: 1989, ©1989.
Dissertation: Ph. D. University of Michigan
Edition/Format:   Thesis/dissertation : Thesis/dissertation : Manuscript : Microfilm   Archival Material : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Southern Thailand has been little studied, although it is distinctive in residence patterns and gender emphases. Evolutionary ecology has been very successful with non-humans, but has had much less success with extended case studies of particular human groups. This study attempts to assess the value of evolutionary ecology by applying it to an analysis of social organization in Southern Thailand. The guiding notion
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Material Type: Thesis/dissertation, Manuscript
Document Type: Book, Archival Material
All Authors / Contributors: EMANUEL JOHN POLIOUDAKIS
OCLC Number: 68300307
Notes: CHAIRPERSON: CONRAD P. KOTTAK.
Description: 406 pages
More information:

Abstract:

Southern Thailand has been little studied, although it is distinctive in residence patterns and gender emphases. Evolutionary ecology has been very successful with non-humans, but has had much less success with extended case studies of particular human groups. This study attempts to assess the value of evolutionary ecology by applying it to an analysis of social organization in Southern Thailand. The guiding notion is a model of social organization as pattern of interacting family actions.

The primary method was long term participant observation in two historically related coastal villages. Data was collected on household composition and economics, on land tenure and genealogical histories for a period of over one hundred years, on ceremonial performance and staging, and on features of the material and social environment.

Analysis demonstrates that there is a recurrent pattern of new land formation, colonization, and population growth. While land is comparatively more available there is an emphasis on male residence and political groups, and on male inheritance. As population growth puts more pressure on land, there is a switch in emphasis to female inheritance and ties between female kin. Throughout the process there is consistent positive assortative marriage on prestige and wealth factors, with the consequent formation.

Of distinctive prestige and kin based groups, strongly influencing patterns of social action. Family size and composition, and individual reproductive success, support the hypothesis that families and individuals are acting in ways consistent with expectations from evolutionary theory.

The study concludes that Southern Thai social organization, including residence patterns and gender emphases, can be understood as patterns arising from adaptive family interactions. But detailed knowledge of social life must precede application of evolutionary theory, and that theory does not help much in appreciating the unique social identity of a particular group.

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