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Population mobility and the transformation of a village community in Northern Thailand

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The paper studies the role of population mobility in the transformation of the Mae Sa village community in Mae Rim District of Chiang Mai Province, northern Thailand. Data for the analysis derive from an in-depth investigation in 1976–1977 and successive studies over the following 22 years including a substantial reinvestigation in 1995–1996. In these two decades, the village has been transformed from a traditional agricultural community to a ‘modern’ rural community with considerable employment outside the village and other links to the outside world. The paper discusses the complexity of the in- and out- migration process and the significance of the roles played by permanent and non-permanent migration in the transformation of the village resource base and social institutions. Special attention is given to social relations at the individual, family and community levels with implications on the definition of movement for the people of Mae Sa.
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Keywords: AIDS; development; migration; tourism

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Geography, Chiang Mai University, PO Box 87, Chiang Mai, 50202, Thailand. E-mail:

Publication date: 1999-04-01

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