This book is an ethnography that offers a critical analysis of the development of the dominant nature conservation ideology in Thailand and the response by the Karen people and their ecological knowledge. Focusing on the centralisation of “nature” and peripheralisation of ethnic hill people, the author examines the way in which certain discourses and rhetoric regarding “hill tribes contra nature” have been made prominent and persistent within not only the state perceptions but also throughout the conflicts between ethnic hill people and other social groups such as lowland communities and nature conservationists. Central to the book is the study of the way in which the Karen, a “hill tribe,” marginalised by their engagement in the discourse of nature conservation, creatively respond to their marginality. Counter-discourses through re-invented forms of local knowledge and appropriation of foreign knowledge are examined in detail within the Karen challenge to the modern conservation paradigm.
Publication date : December 2001
Price : 350 Baht / 14 US$