Explaining why people do things, even when it doesn’t seem reasonable to an American undergraduate is what I do for a living. I’ve explained why people don’t agree with their political views, the persistence of “irrational habits,” why most people don’t want to move to America, why poverty persists in a world of abundance, and a … Continue reading Which Thumb is on Top? Questions about Culture from a Mlabri Village in Thailand
I lived in Thailand as a young Peace Corps Volunteer in the early 1980s. To learn Thai, I would go into small local restaurants where I would sit at a table. As a lone single foreigner, my presence raised curiosity of the people working at the restaurants, or other patrons. Oftentimes is was a 30 or 40 year … Continue reading Where have you gone Robert Redford?
I am teaching a sociology class in northern Thailand to a group of nine Chico State students who are here for a special summer session. As with most of my sociology classes, I have assigned Max Weber’s classic essay “Classes, Staende, Parties” at an early point in the class. Particularly what Weber writes about what in German is … Continue reading Dominance and Subordination, Max Weber Style
I was young once in Thailand. I lived here as a 22-25 year old, first as a Peace Corps Volunteer, and after that working in refugee camps. In these roles, I tried to blend into Thai society as well as possible, despite my long nose, height, blondish hair and the fact that my Thai language … Continue reading Who, What, When and Wai?