From the Jacket
Alexandra R. Kapur-Fic has been born in India and, after attending the Sacred Heart Convent School in Amritsar, obtained a BA and Bachelor of teaching from University of Punjab and an MA in Political Science from University from University of Lucknow.
She lived in Rangoon Burma, from 1962 to 1963, taught at the Chinese Nanyang University in Singapore from 1968 to 1971, travelled widely through Southeast Asia, and then taught Political Science and Anthropology at Niagara College in Welland, Ontario, Canada, from 1974 to 1995.
In 1993-94, part of the sabbatical leave was spent in Thailand, at Burapha University in Bangsaen, Chonburi, teaching and research the book.
In 1996 she accepted a position of the Chief Technical advisor with the UN International Labour Organization, and was posted to Jakarta, Indonesia, to administer a project ASEAN Network in technical Skills Training for Women in Indonesia, Brunei, the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam.
Her main interests are gender issues, and designing and implementing programs for the empowerment of women through technical skill training for poverty alleviation and income generation.
Back of the Book
The book develops two major themes. The first theme attempts to understand the sources of value orientation of the Thai people, and their individual and group behaviour. To this end the study examines three major value systems and their institutions, as well as their mutual relationship and interaction.
As the first value system, the study examines the Theravada Buddhism as founded by the Buddha, then focuses on its application in Thailand, on Buddhist ethics and morality, on the conflicts between some aspects of Buddhism and the rapidly changing society and, finally, on various movements attempting to reform Buddhism in that country.
As the second major value system, the study examines the role Thai people, their symbolism, and their fusion with Buddhism and its values and institutions at the grassroot level of the society.
As the third value system, the study discusses various theories which attempt to explain the psych-cultural values and attitudes of the Thai people, how these interact with Buddhism and animism, and how they add another dimension to the already complex patter of social behaviour.
These three value systems interact and define the parameters within which all aspects of the national life - political, cultural, economic and others - are actualized.
The second major theme of he book concentrates on the position of women in Thailand. It begins with the explanation of the attitudes which the Buddha himself held towards the women, examines the status of women in early Buddhist societies and of those women who chose to renounce the world and join the Buddhist Order to seek personal salvation, as well as the role of the lay women in a Buddhist society at that time. The book then various stages of its history, and culminates in the discussion of the legal position of women today and the attempts to improve their status. However, in treating the latter subject the study is descriptive rather than prescriptive, leaving it to the Thai women themselves to decide which to pursue to improve their position.
Thailand has been a subject of great scholarly interest in the recent years. The reasons is that the country is successfully combining the traditional values, and values of Theravada Buddhism, with elements of modernity-a synthesis of the old and the new. This enables the country to preserve a strong sense of the Thai national identity, while making a significant progress in its efforts to modernize the country and improve the well-being of its people.
Although, when living in Burma, had the opportunity to visit Thailand many times, my own interest in the study of Thailand became highlighted during my Sabbatical leave spent at Burapha University in Chonburi in 1993-1994.
The book develops two major themes. The first theme attempts to understand the sources of value orientation of the Thai people, and their individual and group behavior. To this end the study examines three major value systems and their institutions, as well as their mutual relationship and interaction.
As the first value system, the study examines the Theravada Buddhism as founded by the Buddha, then focuses on its application in Thailand, on Buddhist ethics and morality, on the conflicts between some aspects of Buddhism and the rapidly changing society and, finally, on various movements attempting to re-form Buddhism in that country.
As the second major value system, the study examines the role which animism and the spirit worship lay in the daily life of the Thai people, their symbolism, and their fusion with Buddhism and its values and institutions at the grassroot level of the society.
As the third value system, the study discusses various theories which attempt to explain to explain the psycho-cultural values and attitudes of the Thai people, how these interact with Buddhism and animism, and how they add another dimension to the already complex of social Behaviour.
These three value systems interact and define the parameters within which all aspects of the national life- political, cultural, economic and others - are actualized.
The second major theme of the book concentrates on the position of women in Thailand. It begins with the explanation of the attitudes, which the Buddha him-self held towards the women, examines the status of women in early Buddhist societies and of those women who chose to renounce the world and join the Buddhist Order to seek personal salvation, as well as the role of the lay women in a Buddhist society at that time. The book then focuses on the position of women in the Thai society through various stages of its history, and culminates in the discussion of the legal position of women today and the attempts to improve their status. However, in treating the latte subject the study is descriptive rather than prescriptive, leaving it to the Thai women themselves to decide which remedies to pursue to improve their position.
The study originated during the field work at Burapha University, Thailand, undertaken during my Sabbatical leave from the teaching and administrative responsibilities at Niagara College, Welland, Canada, between 1993-1994.
The original incarnation of this study was a modest research project entitled the Changing Values and Attitudes of Female University Students in Thailand: a Comparative Study of Female Students at Burapha University, Payap University, Chachoengsao College and the Ram Bhai Barni College.
The purpose of the project was to study the interaction between the traditional Thai religious and cultural values, in which the student have been socialized in their homes, with the values of modern social sciences, business practices and technology, which the students were being exposed to at the universities and colleges.
Moreover, the study was interested in finding what goals the young women have set for themselves to achieve in life, and what role they wished to play in nation building as wives and mothers, professional women and citizens exercising their democratic rights, and to measure their concerns for the prevailing social problems, particularly those affecting women in Thailand.
Finally, in order to ascertain variable data for comparative purposes, the participating institutions have been selected, in a representative sample, from the urban and rural settings, from northern and southern regions of the country, from institutions of different sizes and different curricula. For example, Payap is a Christian university in Chiang Mai servicing students from tribal areas, where the values and attitudes of students are quite different from those elsewhere.
While a fairly comprehensive questionnaire has been developed and administered and the obtained data computerized and processed from some of the participating institutions, the work on inquiry in order to understand better the traditional values of the Thai female students which, eventually, resulted in the present book. However, it is my hope that I will be able to return soon to the original project on the changing values and attitudes of female students at selected universities and colleges in Thailand.
The initial scope of my research was even broader in its initial stage, and it concerned itself with the role of women in the developmental process in selected countries of South East Asia. Some of this work was carried out in Singapore, where I was a Visiting Research Scholar associated with the Centre for Advanced Studies of the national University of Singapore in 1993, which facilitated my access to the extensive collections of research material at the university library, as well as at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. I am grateful and acknowledge the assistance of Dr. Chin Kin Wah, Director of the Centre, and many professors at the National University of Singapore, who so generously gave their time to meet with me to discuss the project.
In Thailand, I express my gratitude to Burapha University, in Chonburi, for providing me with appropriate facilities. My sincere thanks are extended to Dr. Banchong Chantrasa, Vice-President Administration, for his counsel and support; Dr. Kunawudh Konchalard, Vice-President Academic, of his administrative support; Dr. Charan Chakandang, Vice- Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, for helping with the question-naire and for extending many other courtesies; Mr. Somsak Aeamkongrsi, Chief of Planning Division, for recognizing the value of such research; Mr. Serree Chinodom Director, Computer Centre for excellent work in processing the data; Professor virat Karavapittayakula, Dean, Faculty of Science, of his support; Professor Korblarp Tanskul, Head of Department of English and Foreign Language, for translating the questionnaire from Thai to English; Professor Chirawibha Pongruang, for helping with fine tuning the questionnaire and translating students' comments; and Mr. Sompoch Chuenpreecha, for the many courtesies extended to me during my stay at Burapha. My sincere gratitude to all those professors at Burapha who invited me o give lectures and lead seminars in their classes, and to many other for their hospitality and numerous acts of friendship.
|List of Illustrations||15|
|Chapter I The Setting||17|
|The Land and the People||17|
|Constitutional Monarchy Established: 1932||31|
|Thailand after World War II||33|
|The Constitutional Development||34|
|The Political Role of the King||35|
|The Changing Pattern of Thai Politics||40|
|Chapter II The Thai Society||44|
|The Perception of Time and Karma||48|
|Social and Economic Class Structure||53|
|Early Socialization and Value Orientation||54|
|Power and Perception of an Individual||57|
|Individual and Society||59|
|Rules Governing Marriage||63|
|Death and Funeral||66|
|The Thai Family Patterns||68|
|Chapter III Buddhism And Evolution Of Its Doctrines||80|
|The Buddha, His Life, Death and His Teachings||80|
|The Doctrine of Karma||92|
|Major Schools of Buddhism||102|
|Four Schools of Mahayana Philosophy||146|
|Chapter IV Buddhism In Thailand||174|
|Buddhism and Social Behaviour||175|
|Rights and Duties of Abbots||184|
|Ordination of Monks||185|
|Rules of Conduct for Monks, Novices and Laity||192|
|The Mae jis||196|
|Duties of the Laity||204|
|Buddhism under Stress||207|
|Chapter V Animism And Spirit Worship||216|
|The Parn Yak Rites||217|
|Modern or Indigenous Cures?||226|
|Challenges to Buddhism||228|
|The Tham Khwan Ritual||231|
|Chapter VI Ethics, Morality, Wealth And Salvation In Buddhism||249|
|The Foundations of Buddhist Ethics||256|
|The King and the Buddhist Ethics||263|
|Social Relationships and Responsibilities||269|
|Relations between the Monks and the Laity||271|
|Buddhism and Wealth||275|
|Theravada Buddhism and Social Change||279|
|Chapter VII Women In Early Buddhism||298|
|The Women: Buddha's Dilemma||298|
|The Decline and Demise of Buddhism in India||310|
|The Bhikkhuni Sangha||318|
|The First Bhikkhunis||325|
|The Songs of Sisters: Therigatha||331|
|Daily Life of a Bhikkhuni||351|
|Novices, Outstanding Theris and Meditation||364|
|Relations between the Bhikkhunis and the Bhikkhus||373|
|Ananda and Women||382|
|The Buddha and Women||385|
|The Lay Buddhist Women||388|
|Wives, Mothers and Daughters||390|
|Daughters and Marriage||395|
|Types of Marriage||395|
|Qualities of Wives||402|
|Origin of Sati||410|
|Musicians, Dancers and Courtesans||418|
|Chapter VIII Women And Buddhism In Thailand||432|
|Women, Attachment and Economic Activities||432|
|National Integration and the Role of Women||442|
|Buddhism and Prostitution||447|
|Legal Position of Women Today||460|
|Chapter IX The Thai Psycho-Cultural Values||485|
|Theories about the Nature of Thai Society||485|
|Embree's Theory of a Loosely Structured Society||487|
|Critique of Embree's Theory||494|
|The Thai Existentialism||496|
|The "Bunkhun" Factor Interpretation||499|
|The Thai Individualism||501|
|The Thai Autonomism||502|
|The Freudian Interpretation||503|
|The Buddhism Interpretation||504|
|The Entourage Interpretation||505|
|The Affiliative Society Interpretation||506|
|Mulder's Power and Goodness Hypothesis||507|
|Suntaree Komin's Theory of the Thai National Character||520|
|The Nine Value Clusters||521|
|The Ego Orientation||522|
|The Grateful Relationship Orientation||524|
|The Smooth Interpersonal Relationship Orientation||528|
|The Flexibility and Adjustment Orientation||535|
|The Religio-Psychical Orientation||538|
|The Education and Competence Orientation||545|
|The Interdependence Orientation||548|
|The Fun and Pleasure Orientation||551|
|The Achievement-Task Orientation||554|
|The Importance of Arjarn Suntaree Komin's Work||564|
Item Code: IDH445 Author: Alexandra R. Kapur-Fic Cover: Hardcover Edition: 1998 Publisher: Abhinav Publications ISBN: 8170173609 Language: English Size: 8.5" X 5.4 Pages: 606 (Color Illus: 20) Other Details: Weight of the Book: 860 gms
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