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Mien Relations: Mountain People and State Control in Thailand

ISBN-13: 978-0801472848
ISBN-10: 0801472849
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Editorial Reviews


"Mien history and society come to life in this provocative and beautifully written ethnography. Hjorleifur Jonsson's striking analysis of how households and communities have re-formed within varied regional political economies cuts through the simplifications of earlier ethnographies as it also forms a cogent commentary on all ethnographic practice. Mien efforts to appeal to the standards of the nation-state―even when burning down the office―are equally riveting."―Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing, University of California, Santa Cruz, author of Friction: An Ethnography of Global Connection

"A detailed ethnography of the Mien people of Thailand is long overdue. Mien Relations addresses the transformations that have come to the upland regions of Thailand with a clear analytical vision, just as it engages various theoretical developments in anthropology over the last two decades. Hjorleifur Jonsson regards the Mien as modern Thai subjects, and his book is a true pleasure to read. It is clearly written, rich in ethnographic detail, and brilliantly argued."―Ralph Litzinger, Duke University

"Mien Relations is a major contribution to knowledge about the highland minorities of mainland Southeast Asia, marking a radical break with traditional ethnographies. Hjorleifur Jonsson's work should encourage a new generation of scholars to conduct rich and historically grounded research. Combining rich archival materials with insights gained through fieldwork, Jonsson establishes that many elements of highland culture were shaped by specific historical and political influences. This book explodes the standard paradigm of highland minorities as remote from state control."―Katherine A. Bowie, University of Wisconsin–Madison

About the Author

Hjorleifur Jonsson is Associate Professor in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change, Arizona State University. He is the author of Mien Relations: Mountain People and State Control in Thailand, from Cornell University Press and coeditor of Contests in Contexts: Readings in the Anthropology of Sports.


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