The Role of Small-Scale Farming in Familial Care

Reducing Work Risks Stemming from the Market Economy in Northeast Thailand

in The International Journal of Social Quality
Restricted access

Abstract

At present, Thailand’s market economy is placing pressure on familial care within rural households. An increasing amount of people are making their living in the current market economy and moving to urban areas in search of employment. The provisioning of care has come under greater risk, especially for women and couples of working age who are exposed to the possibilities of losing employment opportunities. While caregiving has been a responsibility of the household, shifts in working patterns have weakened its ability to care for children and the elderly. However, the capacity to care in northeast Thailand is still higher than in other regions of the country. This article discusses the balancing act that takes place between a progressive market economy and familial care as provided within households in northeast Thailand to demonstrate the importance that rice farming plays in familial care even if income from farming is limited.

Contributor Notes

Shinsuke Tomita is Designated Associate Professor at the Graduate School of Environmental Studies, Asian Satellite Campuses Institute, Nagoya University. He received his PhD in agriculture from Kyoto University in 2003. His research spans several areas of area studies, including natural resources management and household demography, and his main research field is Laos. He currently leads a multidisciplinary project there that reconstructs the formation of regional societies from the viewpoint of human health and demography. Email: tomishing@nagoya-u.jp

Mario Ivan Lopez is Associate Professor at the Center for Southeast Asia Studies, Kyoto University. He received his PhD in cultural anthropology from Kyushu University. He currently works on the aging of populations and demographic change in Southeast Asia and Asia-Pacific and recently coedited the volume Environmental Resources Use and Challenges in Contemporary Southeast Asia: Tropical Ecosystems in Transition (Springer, 2018). He was a member of the large-scale research program “In Search of a Sustainable Humanosphere in Southeast Asia” (2011–2016). Email: marioivanlopez@cseas.kyoto-u.ac.jp

Yasuyuki Kono is Professor at the Center for Southeast Asian Studies (CSEAS), Kyoto University. After graduating from the University of Tokyo with an agricultural doctoral degree in irrigation engineering, he joined CSEAS in 1987 and expanded his research fields to natural resources management, rural livelihood studies, and human-nature interactions in Southeast Asia. Recently, with multidisciplinary colleagues, he has been developing and exploring a new research field, “sustainable humanosphere studies,” which aims at embedding nature and the environment in the dialogue of science and society. Email: kono@cseas.kyoto-u.ac.jp

The International Journal of Social Quality

(formerly The European Journal of Social Quality)

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