Bouahom J R w B, Douangsavanh L, 2004, "Money, morals, and markets: evolving rural labour markets in Thailand and the Lao PDR" Environment and Planning A 36(6) 983 – 998
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Money, morals, and markets: evolving rural labour markets in Thailand and the Lao PDR
Jonathan Rigg with Bounthong Bouahom, Linkham Douangsavanh
Received 14 June 2003; in revised form 10 September 2003
Abstract. The analysis and discussion of local labour markets as social outcomes of local structures and processes are now well established in the literature. However, much of the work has focused on the rich world and/or on modern activities. This paper examines how traditional labour regimes in rural areas of two poor(er) countries, Thailand and the Lao PDR, are changing as their respective local and nonlocal economies evolve. The paper highlights the importance of a historical perspective in any interpretation of the present and considers the remnant role of the 'moral' economy in structuring labour relations. Consideration is also given to the complex ways in which the modern and the traditional interrelate and the role of cultural change in profoundly reworking local labour practices. Building on this, the paper addresses the degree to which the 'social' in labour markets is being fundamentally reworked as transition proceeds.
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