Off-campus UMass Amherst users: To download campus access dissertations, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your UMass Amherst user name and password.

Non-UMass Amherst users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this dissertation through interlibrary loan.

Dissertations that have an embargo placed on them will not be available to anyone until the embargo expires.

Author ORCID Identifier

https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0111-4152

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program

Education (also CAGS)

Year Degree Awarded

2020

Month Degree Awarded

May

First Advisor

Maria José Botelho

Second Advisor

Denise K. Ives

Third Advisor

Susan Darlington

Subject Categories

Language and Literacy Education

Abstract

Books that depict ethnoregional and ethnic groups in Thailand can be used as critical tools to help young Thai adults better understand their compatriots from different cultures. At the same time, these tools allow the youngsters from specific ethnoregional and ethnic groups to see themselves in the books they read. In this study, I examine how the diverse ethnoregional and ethnic groups are represented in 15 Thai realistic fiction books for young adults. I also apply a critical multicultural analysis of children’s literature to understand how the power relations of ethnicity, class, and gender work together within the representations of these groups of people. Critical multicultural analysis (Botelho, 2004; Botelho & Rudman, 2009), as the analytical tool in my study, pays attention to the focalization of the story, social processes among the characters, closure of the story, language use, genre (s), and historical and sociopolitical context of each story. This epistemology makes contributions to the field of children’s and young adult literature in Thailand because it encourages young Thai readers not to simply read the books, but also attend to power through a multi-layered lens as they engage with power relations in young adult stories. The understanding of power relations in storylines and microinteractions x among characters can empower young adults to critically engage with literature for social justice. This critical engagement with the texts also provides the young readers with a tool to think about how the dominant ideologies about ethnicity, class, and gender are institutionalized in Thai society. It also creates a space to consider ways to resist and restructure hegemonic relations in these stories as well as in Thai society. Moreover, this study helps to invite authors, publishers, educators, and librarians to consider the inclusion of ethnoregional and ethnic people in Thai children’s and young adult literature. In addition, it calls attention to Thai scholars in the field of children’s literature to conduct more research about these groups of people. Importantly, this study challenges the prevalent analytical practices of Thai scholarship and inspires shifts in literary study in Thailand.

Share

COinS