Self-transformation strategies of development: The emergence of indigo-dyed textile entrepreneurs in Sakon Nakhon, Thailand

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Chanjittra Chanorn

Abstract

The field of development studies is to a large degree oriented towards institutional policy and intervention. A post-development approach, concerned with fostering the selftransformation of communities on their own terms, is lacking. This paper aims to address the “practicing development” of indigo-dyed textile producers and entrepreneurs in Sakon Nakhon, Thailand, using an actor-oriented approach. The main finding of this research suggests that indigo-dyed textile producers subjectively responded to external forces such as government and markets while developing their businesses. These entrepreneurs created their own projects of development, contributing to economic improvement at the local level, and impacting policy at the national level. This case presents a dynamic transition of the local where different actors are mediated by indigo-dyed textile.  Subsequently, some local actors transformed themselves from objects of development, understood as being passive and the receiver of state policy to be the subjects of development, where this condition has been overcome. However the emergence of entrepreneurship in villages is also stimulating inequality in rural society.

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