Fishermen of South Thailand: the Malay Villagers Analysis Paper

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In 1966, Thomas M. Fraser, Jr. published Fishermen of South Thailand: The Malay Villagers. The book is a case study of the people of Rusembilan, in which fieldwork was undertaken in 1956, 1960, and 1964. The Rusembilan village is located in South Thailand on the shore of the Gulf of Thailand, just north of the equator. This allows for a seasonal tropical climate, averaging about 80 degrees Fahrenheit year round. Strong winds and monsoons occur for three months out of the year causing some of the Rusembilan residence on the coast to temporarily move to the opposite coast, avoiding over half of the annual rainfall. The Rusembilan differs from the rest of Thailand by their cultural and religious beliefs. Mostly all of Thailand practices the religion of Buddhist, whereas, the people of Rusembilan, and most of South Thailand, are Muslims. Located in the South Thailand area, Rusembilan people are culturally oriented towards Malaysia, where they speak the Malay language. Since the entire Rusembilan village is Malay Muslim, and little to none of the villagers speak the Thailand national language, there is hardly, if any, contact with the nearby Thais or Chinese. Fraser conducted his fieldwork in South Thailand over a period of eight years, starting in 1956 and finishing in 1964. Beginning in 1956, Fraser lived in the village of Rusembilan for nine months with his wife. He then came back for a two week visit in 1960, where Fraser spent time in Rusembilan and also in the provincial capital of Pattani. For Fraser’s third and final visit, he returned to Rusembilan in the summer of 1964, where he stayed for two months to finalize his fieldwork. While in Rusembilan and neighboring villages, Fraser used the method of ethnographic fieldwork. He conducted interviews which consisted of both structured and unstructured. A total of two surveys were conducted, one took place in 1956 and the second one in 1964. He also asked open-ended, discussion questions to further his

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