An Exploration of the Intimate Economies of Bangkok

Topics: Globalization, Sociology, Bangkok Pages: 4 (1581 words) Published: October 16, 2012
Through Ara Wilson’s detailing of her exploration of Bangkok in her ethnography “The Intimate Economies of Bangkok”, I was able to become an observer of the meshing of the native culture that already existed in Bangkok with the Western culture that has been spreading into the nation for many years. Typically the concept of cultural homogenization discusses an extremely skewed power dynamic in which one regional culture (typically one that exists in countries that have been classified as developing) is taken over and dissembled by the presence of the prevalent Western culture. From Wilson’s account, I find that economies in Bangkok are not so much experiencing a homogenization, but a merging of different cultures which keeps the elements of the native culture, but reworks the rules around the global market. At the same time there is this pervasive air of hegemony which dictates that the Western way is the better way. As per usual when dealing with hegemony, many of the Thai/Sino-Thai people that are affected by this encounter are not aware of its presence. This unawareness comes in the face of continued reiteration of Western ideals that subliminally commute the message that Western commodities are better. This may explain why Western standards of beauty/organization still find their way into the lives of the people featured throughout Wilson’s in-depth portrait of Bangkok. Wilson’s ethnography also illustrates how this meeting of global capitalism and local, cultural models works in the real world. Wilson fully illustrates global capitalism’s effect on Thailand by delving into the local culture in Bangkok and talking to the people who are living in this meshed world. Wilson’s ethnography is able to provide a more complex understanding of the coming together of global capitalism due to her exploration of the interplay of global capitalism and local practices. According to Richard Robbins in his work “Global Problems and the Culture of Capitalism”: The culture of...
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