University of Sussex
Ting, Wen-Ching.pdf (3.15 MB)

Struggling in between: the everyday practice of weaving Shan home territory along the Thai-Burma border

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posted on 2023-06-09, 02:22 authored by Wen-Ching Ting
The overall aim of this study is to explore the relations between home-places, mobility and social networks through the home-making of displaced Shan in limbo, and to see how they negotiate belonging during their displacement along the Thai-Burma border. This study highlights how displaced Shan remember, reconstruct and represent homeplaces they left behind and their physically fragmented journeys that led them from home-places to in-between border areas. Furthermore, the study sets out to discover how Shan placed their displacement by repairing their social ties and (re)constructing a feeling of at-homeness. This refers to the issues of how they dealt with their status of Stratified Others from the perspective of state institutions. It demonstrates how the displaced Shan live a double life with a series of tactical practices against their subordinate and oppressed positions. In this sense, although it does not deny displaced people’s vulnerability, it sees them as having significant control over their lives, rather than as passive objects or “victims” (Brun: 18). This active role as a tactical agent engaged in the search for security highlights how migrants re-establish themselves and their families in society, differently from those who have citizenship and can travel freely and enjoy their membership (citizenship). Finally, the study also examines how displaced Shan develop and maintain their social connections within and beyond their effective spatial incarceration. They create multilayered constellations of social relations by ‘weaving’ social relations through space, creating translocal linkages. This constellation of social relations can be regarded as displaced Shan’s fluid translocal lived space forming their ‘home territory’ beyond national borders in the face of their protracted displacement. This human-orientated perspective challenges the notion of state-centred ‘national territory’ to (re)construct Shan’s place affiliation and create a base for their future generations.


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