Social Mobility in Baan Had-Naleng: When the Valuation of Communality Allows for a Demarcation Line in a Multi-ethnic Village in Northwest Laos
Citable Link (URL):http://resolver.sub.uni-goettingen.de/purl?gs-1/11840
First published on GoeScholar 2015
DORISEA working paper; 16
In this paper I focus on Baan Hadnaleng, a multi-ethnic village in northwest Laos which consists of two Mon-Khmer speaking groups, namely Khmu and Samtao. The village is unique in offering the possibility to trace processes of transcultural communication which are in other multi-ethnic villages in the region. Khmu, the more numerous and socially privileged group, are associated with Animism, while Samtao, the adapting and more disadvantaged group is associated with the religion of the state. Possibly partly due to this status-confusion Khmu and Samtao have established a communal social order in which they can benefit from impulses from each other and the outside, especially the state. I am thus concerned with three central, interwoven questions. Firstly, how are identities shaped in a multi-ethnic village, and which modes of transcultural communication are used? And what kind of structures do these strategies create? Secondly, what kinds of religious dynamics are to be seen? Thirdly, in which ways do processes like ‘modernization’, ‘globalization’ or ‘mechanization’ come into play and influence the structure of the multi-ethnic village?