Connecting Lives, Living, and Location
Mobility and Spatial Signatures in Northeast Thailand, 1982 - 2009
This article explores mobility transitions in Thailand through the particular experience of two villages in Northeast Thailand over the period from the early 1980s through to 2009. The authors show through the mobility histories of Ban Non Tae and Ban Tha Song Korn that, while rural settlements may have always had a greater degree of mobility than the sedentary peasant paradigm suggests, important changes have taken place over the last quarter of a century in how that mobility is manifested. Personal mobility has increased; the migration of women has become as prevalent as that of men; and a mixture of daily commuting and more permanent moves have replaced seasonal circulation. In the process, mobility has created complex, multi-sited households; has led to a growing geriatrification of farming; and has altered the basis for livelihood sustainability and village resilience. Case studies of two individuals highlight these dynamics and add color to the themes the authors present. In making clear households' changing spatial signatures, the authors also seek to show how national and international development processes are imprinted in village and household histories.