Year published :January 2014

Pages :292 pp.

Size :14x21 cm.

ISBN: 9786162150722

Ethnicity, Borders, and the Grassroots Interface with the State: Studies on Southeast Asia in Honor of Charles F. Keyes

by John A. Marston

notes, bibliog., index, paperback 

Ethnicity, Borders, and the Grassroots Interface with the State brings together exciting new work by anthropologists working on mainland Southeast Asia. The volume honors anthropologist Charles F. Keyes and the chapters here address concepts central to Keyes’ own work—ethnicity, religion, and modernity—as they can be applied to the countries of Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. The volume also reflects recent scholarly interest in “cross-border” issues, as reflected both in the complexity of identity, where ethnic groups extend across boundaries, and in increasing cross-border mobility. The volume is divided into three sections. The first, “The State and Public Ceremony,” includes chapters on a ceremony of national heritage as celebrated in Vietnam and the United States, Shan novice initiation near the border of Myanmar in Thailand, and the restoration of the monkhood in Cambodia. The second section, “The Grassroots Negotiation of Modernity,” contains chapters about the concept of “sufficiency” in Thai farm production, the ways modernity is conceived among the Lahu in Thailand, and the complexities of the Thai system of identity cards. The final section, “Crossing Borders of State and Nation” focuses on the stateless Lao population in northeastern Thailand, Vietnamese migrants to Laos, and Western (farang) men married to northeastern Thai women. Contributors to the book include scholars based in Thailand, Vietnam, the United States, Australia, and Mexico. The book is an invaluable reference for scholars of Southeast Asia, and will also appeal to general readers.

About the Editor

John A. Marston is a professor and researcher at the Center for Asian and African Studies of El Colegio de México in Mexico City. He co-edited History, Buddhism, and New Religious Movements in Cambodia, also published by Silkworm Books.


  • Brings together a range of new anthropological research on mainland Southeast Asia
  • Compiled in honor of anthropologist Charles F. Keyes, and draws on key concepts that he developed in his work
  • Includes sections on “The State and Public Ceremony,” “The Grassroots Negotiation of Modernity,” and “Crossing Borders of State and Nation”
  • Contributors include scholars based in Thailand, Vietnam, the United States, Australia, and Mexico.


Charles Keyes | anthropology | ethnicity | globalization | state | borders | Southeast Asia | nation

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