Demanding Daughter Duty: Gender, Community, Village Transformation and Transnational Marriages in Northeastern Thailand.

TitleDemanding Daughter Duty: Gender, Community, Village Transformation and Transnational Marriages in Northeastern Thailand.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsAngeles, L, Sunanta, S
JournalCritical Asian Studies
Volume41
Issue4
Start Page549
Pagination574
Abstract

The “transnationalization” of rural villages though women’s transnational marriages reconfigures gendered familial obligations in the form of “daughter duty” in light of the ongoing agrarian transformation in Northeast region of Thailand. The phua farang (foreign husband) phenomenon in Isan connects the local villages and communities to the global through economic and social remittances from dutiful village daughters, thus bypassing the Thai nation-state institutions and agencies, which have been inadequate in addressing Isan’s disadvantageous position within Thailand’s growing regional and national economies. Such transnational process depends on daughters’ (and mothers’) commitment to their care work or role as nurturers of the family, kin, schools, temples, and community, which is seen as a familial extension in this matrilocal society. Women’s visible upward economic mobility and their adherence to valued filial roles contribute to the community’s increased favorable acceptance of women with foreign partners, leading to the increased number of transnational marriages. We offer a nuanced reading of the transformation of “daughter duty” and understanding of the agrarian changes taking place in Northeast Isan villages as the result of the rapid growth of transnational marriages.