Otherness: The Primary Cause of the Unrest Problem in the Three Southern Border Provinces of Thailand

  •  Kettawa Boonprakarn    
  •  Kasetchai Laeheem    
  •  Jedsarid Sangkaphan    


The purpose of this article is to review the concepts, theories, and research reports related to the concept ofotherness, especially those mentioning other within and defining “otherness”. The researchers analyzed andsynthesized data collected from related literature reviews, and found the following definitions. 1) Otherness is aninvention constructed by society under authority relationships to exclude and push away people who are differentfrom the self to a lower social position, and nature is made into otherness by repressing and obstructing it toallow humans to be the master of nature. 2) Refused otherness is a result of conditions, identities, and positionsgiven by society. Those who are pressed to accept these characteristics refuse ones that are not their own in orderto separate “Them” from “Us”. This may not refer to the construction of the opposite identities but rather of newidentities instead. 3) Ethnic otherness is designated by the discourse of civilization as a result of an effort toconstruct a new type of state with boundaries to exclude others because of their races, ethnics or groups that arethe same or different. 4) Construction of otherness in the three Southern border provinces of Thailand hasemerged from the process of building a nation state, and the process of Thai-ization that takes place under theconcept of exclusion and nationalism. This has resulted in culture of the majority of people in the country andthat of the minority who are non-Thai with the status “Other within” of Thai society. In addition, the absence ofunderstanding in cultural diversity has partially contributed to the unrest situation in the area.

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