Pumuen Village: A Template for the “De” of Development Jeff_Admin_User243 2016-12-14T20:44:01+00:00
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A Case Study for Humankind (1880-2014)
The purpose of this case study is to illustrate actual changes that have taken place throughout one village area over the past 135 years. This is in relation to how government policies, global market influences, and infrastructural development have had an impact on the communities’ natural environment, socioeconomic conditions, and psychosocial functioning.
This essay, while taking a critical stance on modern development, uses cross-section data analysis from previous studies, observations, and in-depth interviews of key persons for focusing on the prefix “de” of development, denoting, removal or reversal. Overall, what is development taking away from culturally traditional ways of life in exchange for more modern (versus traditional) ways of life? What are the replacements as well as the short and potential long-term impacts? Also, what is being gained?
The idea, this thesis per se, is such that by illustrating the societal effects that modern development has, and continues to have, on one community area, one society, a model may be created for better understanding the related affects of development on humanity overall. This knowledge may as well serve toward analysis of world areas that have either been previously developed, are underway, or are slated for such changes.
Pumuen Nai village is a 50 household, 250-person, community comprised of Lahu Na (“Black Lahu”) people. It is located in North Thailand’s Fah Hom Pok National Park (meaning, “mountain covered by a blanket,” a reference to the thick cloud cover that often blankets the higher elevations of the park). This park area is located in far northern Fang District in Chiang Mai Province not far from the Myanmar border. It also home to the second highest peak in Thailand.
Pumuen Nai is positioned nearby another Lahu settlement called, Pumuen Nok, comprised of the Lahu Nyi (“Red Lahu”) people who were the first to inhabit this area around 1880. Villagers are originally from Tibet and China, and immigrated to this location via Myanmar. And while this study addresses the entire village area’s 135-year history, Pumuen Nai village, established in the late 1970s, is the main point of focus.