"The Role of Development Monks and Social Change in Northeast Thailand"

Pinit Lapthananon (CSEAS visiting research fellow from Social Research Institute, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand)
16:00-18:30, February 17 (Fri), 2006
Room 307, 3rd floor of CSEAS Common Building

Buddhist monks have played a vital role in Thai people's lives for a very long time. Their invaluable contribution to society has also long been recognized, particularly in rural communities. Until the late 1950s and early 1960s, some monks in the Northeast started playing their further role as 'development monks'. This role was later very obvious in the 1970s and 1980s. Their primary motivation for development was mainly to improve the rural people's way of living and to solve the community problems. All of them started from using local resources in their community. However, since 1980 when many non-governmental organizations began providing various supports to the monks, they have changed their developmental role from time to time. It is the fact that those external factors as well as social and economic changes in the rural Northeast have influenced their developmental role. This presentation tries to clarify the changing role of development monks in Northeast Thailand through the process of social change from the late 1950s to the early 2000s.

21st Century COE Program -Aiming for COE of Integrated Area Studies-  HOME