Kathoey

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Thailand vs. ‘Kathoey’| 2 november
2010

Table of Contents

I. Introduction………………………………………………………………………………....3
I.I. What is ‘Kathoey’………………………………………………………………………….3
I.II. How does one become ‘Kathoey’?....................................................................4 II. Power distance index (PDI) in ‘Kathoey’ culture…………………………..5
II.I Power distance in the workplace…………………………………………………..5
II.II Power distance in religion…………………………………………………………..6 III. Masculinity vs. Femininity in ‘Kathoey’ culture…………………………7 IV. Uncertainty Avoidance in ‘Kathoey’ culture………………………………9 V. Individualism VS Collectivism…………………………………………………. 11

V.I Family………………………………………………………………………………………... 11
V.II Personal life, behavior and state…………………………………………………. 12 VI. High/Low Context…………………………………………………………………….. 15 VII. Monochronic/Polychronic People……………………………………………. 16 VIII. Conclusions……………………………………………………………………………….. 17 IX. Planning…………………………………………………………………………………….. 18 X. Reflections…………………………………………………………………………………. 19 XI. Sources……………………………………………………………………………………….. 21

I. Introduction

Our choice of country is Thailand. In this report you will find all the research we have conducted on Thailand, with the focus on ‘‘Kathoey’’, also known as ‘Ladyboys’. Our goal in this report is to find out how far the ‘Kathoey’ micro culture differs from the Thai culture, using Hofstede’s five dimensions and theories.

The reason why we have chosen Thailand and ‘Kathoey’ is because there is a lot of information circling around the Web and libraries. Before we came to this subject we discussed the country El Salvador, but soon we realized that there was too little knowledge from our side and too little information to be found to actually make a sufficient report. Therefore, we decided to discard the idea.

Nowadays the ‘Kathoey’ are getting more and more acknowledgement in the world. In 1996, a volleyball team composed mostly of gays and ‘Kathoey’s, known as The Iron Ladies, later portrayed in two Thai movies, won the Thai national championship. Among the most famous ‘Kathoey’s in Thailand is Nong Tum, a former champion Thai boxer who emerged into the public eye in 1998. She was already cross-dressing and taking hormones while still a popular boxer; she would enter the ring with long hair and makeup, occasionally kissing a defeated opponent. In 2004, the Chiang Mai Technology School allocated a separate restroom for ‘Kathoey’s, with an intertwined male and female symbol on the door. (Wikipedia.com)

I.I But what exactly is a ‘‘Kathoey’’?

‘’Definition of ‘Kathoey’ in English

The term ‘Kathoey’ or katoey, generally refers to a male-to-female transgender person or an effeminate gay male in Thailand. Related phrases include sao (or phuying) praphet song, (“a second kind of woman”), or phet thi sam, ( “third sex”). (wikipedia.com/dictionary)’’

As Thailand would have the ‘Kathoey’, Mexico has ‘Vestidas’ and India ‘Hijra’.

I.II How does one become ‘‘Kathoey’?’

Gender identity is one of the most fundamental aspects of life. The sex of a person is assigned at birth. However, a relatively small number of people experience problems with being a member of the sex recorded at birth. This can also be so for intersex persons whose bodies have both of certain aspects of both male and female physiology, and at times their primairy gender features. For others, problems arise because their perception of clashes with the sex assigned to them at birth.

In Thailand, gentleness and mildness, sentimentality and weakness, excitability, emotionality and a tendency to worry are all very stereotypically feminine traits. If a boy has these traits, especially if they are combined with a preference for playing with girls and a love of girls’ toys, people around him are going to decide that he is actually a girl, and he will be raised accordingly.

And so a ‘Kathoey’ is raised. As she gets older...
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