Thailand, Globalization, and Gender: Thai tourism policies and the global outsourcing of care and reproductive work

  • ศิริจิต สุนันต๊ะ Research Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia, Mahidol University
Keywords: globalization, gender, tourism policy, care, intimacy


This article offers a critical discussion of Thai tourism policies with a particular reference to the feminist approach to care and reproductive work. Documentary research and literature review illustrate how the issues of globalization and gender have been embedded in both national policy making and social relations between different groups, including between Thai state and its citizen. Under the logics of neoliberalism, Thai state has transformed itself as an entrepreneurial state, who commoditizes care and intimacy for long-stay, and medical and wellness tourism. The development of Thailand as a destination for international retirement migration is one of the national strategies to transform the country’s image as a destination for sex tourism to a hub for care services. However, such policies have in practice reproduced asymmetrical power relations between genders, classes, ethnic groups, and nation states; and at the same time hindered other forms of social relations between the locals and Western migrants in Thailand.


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