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Practical and auspicious: Thai handbook knowledge for agriculture and the environment


Farrelly, N and Reynolds, CJ and Walker, A, Practical and auspicious: Thai handbook knowledge for agriculture and the environment, Asian Studies Review, 35, (2) pp. 235-251. ISSN 1035-7823 (2011) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2011 Asian Studies Association of Australia

DOI: doi:10.1080/10357823.2011.575208


This article is the first thorough examination of the Thai handbooks that are produced to explain agricultural and environmental knowledge. These khu-meu (handbooks) and tamra (textbooks) come into use when knowledge is moving from one party to another. They also establish symbolic correlations within the human, terrestrial world, or between the human, terrestrial world and the worlds of the gods, spirits, ancestors, or the unseen. Despite the fact that handbooks are pervasive for the organising, preserving, retrieving, transmitting and consuming of knowledge throughout the Southeast Asian region, there has been very little concerted study of handbook knowledge. Our analysis of environmental handbooks in Thailand shows that simplified mastery is a common goal of the handbook genre in both its "how to" and "reading signs" forms. The knowledge captured by the Thai language handbooks is of a practical, predictive kind and suited to particular circumstances. Such knowledge can ultimately bridge and blur the dichotomy between scientific and local epistemologies.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Thailand, epistemology, farming, resource management, pedagogy, local knowledge, Southeast Asia
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Political science
Research Field:Government and politics of Asia and the Pacific
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:International relations
Objective Field:International political economy (excl. international trade)
UTAS Author:Farrelly, N (Professor Nicholas Farrelly)
ID Code:145419
Year Published:2011
Web of Science® Times Cited:1
Deposited By:Office of the School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2021-07-21
Last Modified:2021-09-28

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