Chapter

The Conceptual Allure of the West: Dilemmas and Ambiguities of Crypto-Colonialism in Thailand

Michael Herzfeld

in The Ambiguous Allure of the West

Published by Hong Kong University Press

Published in print May 2010 | ISBN: 9789622091214
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9789882207493 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5790/hongkong/9789622091214.003.0009
The Conceptual Allure of the West: Dilemmas and Ambiguities of Crypto-Colonialism in Thailand

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This chapter explores the indeterminacy of cultural influence, arguing that in matters as apparently discrete as the use of space, dress, and eating habits and the language of popular science, a peculiarly local idiom of governmentality in Thailand rests on the ambiguity about origins and attitudes. It also explores, through comparisons of Thailand with Greece and other countries, the dynamics of “crypto-colonialism”: the condition in which the very claim of independence marks a symbolic as well as material dependence on intrusive colonial power.

Keywords: cultural influence; popular science; governmentality; Thailand; cryto-colonialism

Chapter.  7262 words. 

Subjects: Asian History

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