Identities beyond ethnic-based subordination or conflict in the Southeast Asian borderlands: a case study of Lao villagers in northeast Cambodia

Singh, Sarinda (2016) Identities beyond ethnic-based subordination or conflict in the Southeast Asian borderlands: a case study of Lao villagers in northeast Cambodia. Asian Ethnicity, 1-22. doi:10.1080/14631369.2015.1120053


Author Singh, Sarinda
Title Identities beyond ethnic-based subordination or conflict in the Southeast Asian borderlands: a case study of Lao villagers in northeast Cambodia
Journal name Asian Ethnicity   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1469-2953
1463-1369
Publication date 2016-03-01
Year available 2016
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/14631369.2015.1120053
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Start page 1
End page 22
Total pages 22
Place of publication Abingdon, Oxon, United Kingdom
Publisher Routledge
Collection year 2017
Language eng
Abstract This paper explores everyday expressions of identity by Lao villagers living in northeast Cambodia near the border with Laos, and uses this to reflect on trends in studies of identity in the remote borderlands of Southeast Asia. I argue that while ethnicity is certainly crucial, discipline-specific emphases – ethnic-based subordination or conflict for social studies and political studies, respectively – result in less attention to other important dynamics shaping identity. Furthermore, I suggest that low-profile case studies not strongly linked to ethnic-based subordination or conflict – such as the Lao in Cambodia – require study for a more comprehensive view of identity in the borderlands. The case study from northeast Cambodia identifies four key dynamics shaping identity: inter-state relations, ethno-national identities, cross-border livelihoods and social status. I show how minimal inter-state tensions and varied personal connections to Laos were important in facilitating villagers’ involvement in lucrative illegal cross-border logging in Laos, but the latter were never used to justify this practice. Instead in this everyday setting, villagers emphasised their sense of marginalisation within Cambodia and thus demonstrate their regular prioritisation of status.
Keyword Borderlands
Cambodia
Cross-border livelihoods
Ethnic Lao
Identity
Illegal logging
Social status
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
School of Social Science Publications
 
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