uu.seUppsala University Publications
Change search
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf
Bodily Practices and Medical Identities in Southern Thailand
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology.
2008 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This study explores contemporary practices concerning women’s and children’s bodies, with a special focus on postpartum practices, the treatment of the afterbirth and its cosmological dimensions, and male and female circumcision. At the intersection between traditional midwifery and modern medicine, Muslim women cross the boundaries between different cosmologies and medical systems. At the borders to Malaysia, the Muslim minority in Thailand upholds postpartum practices which have been abandoned by the Thai Buddhists in the region, making of the body a contested site of powers and identities. Traditional midwives are pressured to limit their practices to rituals and massage. The increasing use of medical technologies in the form of Caesarean section and modern contraceptives are perceived as leading to changes in the local ethnophysiology of female bodies. The fluidity once characterising pre- and postpartum bodily states, has turned into an infertile rigidity exemplified by metaphors of a hardened body. In official discourse a sharp line is drawn between outdated tradition and medical modernity, at the same time as ethnic-religious borders between Malay Muslims and Thai Buddhists are erased with the disappearance of old practices and the emergence of new Muslim identities and rituals. Prodigious events and pregnancy losses led in the past to the formation of spirit cults managed by female mediums and represented a means of communication between Muslim and Buddhist lifeworlds. As these events vanish under medical scrutiny and intervention on the one hand, and a modernist reading of Islam on the other hand, local ethnophysiological conceptions are lost. Individual and social bodies are put under the medical dressage of biopolitics and a discourse on the Muslim minority is created to serve aims of internal colonialism.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis , 2008. , 327 p.
Series
Uppsala Studies in Cultural Anthropology, ISSN 0348-5099 ; 43
Keyword [en]
Cultural anthropology, biopolitics, minorities, Muslims, Southern Thailand, childbirth, medical practices, circumcision, embodiment
Keyword [sv]
Kulturantropologi
National Category
Cultural Studies
Research subject
Cultural Anthropology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-8509ISBN: 978-91-554-7119-4 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-8509DiVA: diva2:171553
Public defence
2008-04-04, Geijersalen, Engelska parken, Thunbergsv. 3H, Uppsala, 10:15
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2008-03-13 Created: 2008-03-13 Last updated: 2017-10-27Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text
Buy this publication >>

Authority records BETA

Merli, Claudia

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Merli, Claudia
By organisation
Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology
Cultural Studies

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar

isbn
urn-nbn

Altmetric score

isbn
urn-nbn
Total: 2336 hits
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf