Current Institutional Affiliation
Instructor, International Studies Program, Portland State University

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 2004
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Geography, University of Washington
Driving Globalization: Bangkok Taxi Drivers and the Restructuring of Work and Masculinity in Thailand

The proposed ten-month dissertation research study examines how the Bangkok taxi industry is being restructured through globalization in Thailand, and explores the ways in which migrant Northeastern Thai taxi drivers are taking part in the development of new social and political identities. Utilizing a number of qualitative research methods, including both structured and open-ended interviews with taxi drivers, interviews with key informants, archival research and participant observation, this project seeks to understand the role of the Bangkok taxi industry in the Thai economy, and to investigate how the labor practices of the taxi industry have changed in response to economic and cultural globalization over the past thirty years. This study seeks to contribute to contemporary theoretical debates in the social sciences on the impacts of economic restructuring and localized globalization in the developing world, especially in terms of the impacts on the livelihoods and political identities of the working poor. Careful attention will be paid to the ways in which the economic restructuring of taxi work is connected to the production of new gendered identities, including subordinated masculinities, in a Thai context. The empirical aim of this research project is to collect primary and secondary data that will provide in-depth qualitative information on i) transportation work, an understudied sector of both the Thai and the global economy, and ii) the experiences and identities of Northeastern Thai working-class migrant men, a group that has received little in-depth scholarly attention in gender studies.