Constructing the Self-image of Akha women in Cross-Cultural Marriage


  • Pradhana Chantaruphan Ph.D. candidate of Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Faculty of Social Sciences, Chiang Mai University


Akha, self, cultural capital, flexible citizen, cross cultural marriage


The purpose of this article is to present the self-image of Akha women married to foreigners. This study used narrative analysis and in-depth interviews as the research methodology. The study indicated that two important factors contributing to the self–image of women are their ethnic identity or cultural roots, and the route of life. Ethnic identity is a form of cumulative cultural capital and is used when crossing borders. As the route of life forms a new identity that breaks out from the pressures of ethnic identity, there are some embedded insights. Cross-cultural self is a hybrid identity, flexible and negotiable as an agency which is not attached to the ethnic identity discourse. It is a flexible citizen or globalized citizen who can choose to embrace a diversity of identities. One is the self that originates from ethnic capital that is rooted in women’s relationships with their former family, envisioning the source of life. The other is the modern self that emanates from the route of life in a foreign country that gives women the liberty which they could not have in the Akha world.


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