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New economy and gender relations in Thailand: The implications of the Internet.

Komolvadhin, Nattha (2008) New economy and gender relations in Thailand: The implications of the Internet. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science (United Kingdom).

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Abstract

Toward the end of the 1990s, a large number of people were drawn into work in the new economy. The use of information and communications technology (ICT) was said to promise a gender-neutral world of work. The Internet, transcending temporal and spatial divisions, is supposed to create new employment options. This thesis examines the ways in which both genders in Thailand use the Internet to make or further their career. It asks to what extent work on the Internet really opens up new career opportunities. It also explores the extent to which the Internet enables women and men to escape their gendered identity, allowing them different identities, in cyberspace and, at home, enabling the redefinition of gender arrangements in the domestic domain. In-depth interviews with 55 participants in Thailand reveal that work with ICTs has generated a new form of employment that is informal, flexible and more uncertain. In addition, Thai women can use the Internet to start their own online business, and this can enhance their economic independence and allow them to negotiate gendered relations from a stronger bargaining position. However, the findings also illustrate that women face a contradiction between economic independence and their roles as mothers and wives. Conforming to a hetero-normative ideology creates ambivalence about changing gender roles, and particular pressures for women combining paid and unpaid work. ICT has provided a new economic opportunity, accessible to both women and men, yet most women continue to prioritise care-giving responsibilities. This dilemma leads to greater conflicts, particularly for women, between careers and family.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Economics, General, Gender Studies, Web Studies
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/2315

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