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Home Volume 16 Number 1
Volume 16 Number 1 July 2007

Voices of Migrant Workers on Health Services in Thailand and on Living with Thai People

Wathinee Boonchalaksi
Aphichat Chamratrithirong

This study investigates attitudes of migrant workers towards health services in Thailand and their voices on living with Thai people. The study employed Focus Group Discussion (FGD) method among workers from Myanmar and Cambodia in 6 provinces including Chiang Mai, Tak, Samutsakhorn, Rayong, Trad, and Ranong. Migrants were found to be well knowledgeable of the sources of health services and personnel, including health centers, hospitals, as well as the migrant health volunteers. They also knew well about migrants’ service centers (drop-in centers) or services of the non-government organization (NGO) at the sites. In case of severe illness, they would go for services at the hospital. In some areas, some migrants would go to clinics rather than hospitals due to lack of migrant worker registration card, and problem of communication. In general, migrants were satisfied with the services both from the government and NGO. However, migrants perceived that they did not receive equal treatment compared to Thai people in the same community. Voices from migrants revealed that Thais still resented and insulted migrant workers, and did not try to learn and understand the culture that was different from theirs. Because of this, periodical disputes became inevitable. 

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Post-partum Amenorrhea among Nepalese Mothers

Tika Ram Aryal

The objective of this paper is to study the post-partum amenorrhea (PPA) among Nepalese mothers. Data are taken from a sample survey of Palpa and Rupandehi districts. Findings revealed that over 40% and 60% mothers were reported their PPA before six and nine months respectively and three fourth had reported before a year. Mean, median and trimean of PPA was found to be 10.4, 8.4 and 9.2 months for current reporting data while 10.6, 8.8 and 9.4 months for retrospective reporting data. Younger mothers have lower PPA duration than older counter-parts. The increased duration of PPA was found with the increase of birth interval and parity of mothers. PPA duration was found to be positively associated with the breastfeeding and an inversely associated with the level of education and socio-economic status of mothers. Weibull distribution has been found good fit to the data of Nepal for describing the distribution of PPA duration. Average expected waiting time for returning menstruations at delivery was found to be 8.5 and 8.6 months for current and retrospective data respectively. Findings may help policy-makers, planners and researchers to design the policies and programmes for improving maternal and child health and thereby reducing fertility level.

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Beyond the ‘Capitalist’ World - System: Buddhism in Action

Suwida Sangsehanat

Capitalism is the globally dominant world system and is confronted by a number of anti-systemic movements in different forms. One of these forms is the New Religious Movement. This study examines two examples of this movement that operate outside of the mainstream capitalist system and traditional religious structures. The Asoke Communities of Thailand and the Tzu Chi Buddhist Foundation of Taiwan are Buddhist organizations, the former Theravada, the latter Mahayana, that offer new worldviews at variance with capitalist perspectives. In practice, they use appropriate traditions of the past and new ideas of the present as they create a future that goes beyond capitalism. They represent Buddhism in action as they construct their religious communities based on local culture to develop humanity and society.

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State Policies and Conflicts in the Access of Coastal Resources : a Comparative Study of Small-Scale Fishermen

Pornpan Khemakhunasai

This article is about a comparative study of the contexts and forms of coastal resources access, conflicts arising from state polices, negotiation strategies and adaptation of two small-scale fishermen: Thai Buddhist in Cha-nger Village, Surat Thani and Malayu Muslim in Da To Village, Pattani. The result of the study shows that Cha-nger fishermen define the area based on the sharing system to reduce the conflicts arising from various groups doing fishery in the same space. Whereas Da To fishermen use the Islam belief system. The sharing method of resources access is used for both villages. The area definition based on religious belief is more reliable than that of Cha-nger village’s definition which is derived from moral-based economic. Throughout five decades of sea fishery development, Da To fishermen rarely change the utilization of Pattani gulf and refuse to accept government policies. However, they negotiate with the state on the resources access at the level of community. This includes an increase of the religious strictness, a return to the traditional belief and the right to do traditional fishery in front of the villages’ sea. As for Cha-nger village, the fishermen have changed resources access according to state development policy, although negotiation strategies of both an individual and group have been adapted. The resources are utilized through an open access and private property along with the continuous invasion of the sea area for individual benefits. 

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The Development of Bann Thawai’s Mediated Economics Curriculum for Sustainable Wood-Carved Business

Amornrat Wattanatorn
Sumlee Thongthew

This article outlines the implementation of a new concept of economics knowledge in a local economics curriculum for the elementary school students in Bann Thawai, a medium-sized woodcarving village in Thailand, locally and internationally renowned for its handicrafts. Such a Local Economics Curriculum is the result of studies conducted by Thongthew (1998) and Wattanatorn (2004) on the community’s situation of production and trading transactions during 1994-1998 and 1999-2004. The curriculum emphasizes on the curriculum concept of Mediated Economics resulting from a balancing of an economic principle related to ‘modern capitalism’ and the economic principle that focuses on the economic ideas in the existing local culture and wisdom on which the villagers based their wood carving occupation. The detailed ethnographic information on the local economic way of living described in Bann Thawai village and other local villages was integrated as part of the content of the curriculum for elementary schools within the curriculum subject groups that includes Social Studies, Religions and Culture and Science in the Core Curriculum. The new Local Economics Curriculum was developed in response to the villagers’ need for necessary insights regarding their wood carving occupation. The curriculum is designed to be consistent with National Education Act of 1999 in Thailand, and incorporates the learning reform and management as well as the students’ actual lifestyles in the classroom pedagogical contents. This paper describes the original ethnographic study, and culminates in describing the Local Economic Curriculum.

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Labor Migration in Kanchanaburi Demographic Surveillance System: Characteristics and Determinants

Tran Quang Lam
John R. Bryant
Aphichat Chamratrithirong
Yothin Sawangdee

This study examines patterns, characteristics and determinants of short-term labor migration in Kanchanaburi Demographic Surveillance System (KDSS), Thailand. Data from the KDSS Round 2 (2001) and Round 3 (2002) were used. Only persons in the working ages (15-59) are included in the analysis.
The probability of engaging in short-term labor migration is modeled using binary logistic regression. The determinants of migration are grouped into four main categories i.e. individual socio-demographic factors, individual economic factors, household factors and contextual factors.
Study findings suggest that labor migrants in KDSS share many similar characteristics compared to other groups of migrants in previous migration literature i.e. sex, age, work status, marital status, household characteristics and village characteristics. However, differences were also found regarding timing of migration and educational level.
Major forces of labor migration in KDSS are diverse and somewhat associated with economic factors (income differences, unemployment, number of labor in household, etc.) and migration experience. The determinants of labor migration differ by gender. Individual and household factors appear to have strong impact on male migration, while individual and contextual factors are strong predictors for female migration.

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