Phongthep Bunkla


Supervisor: Dr. Kanokwan Manorom

Research Topic: Narratives of Local Pak Mun Fisheries and Practice of Everyday Life

This qualitative research aimed to study the dynamic of narrative on folk fisheries before and after the Pak Mun dam construction and to study narrative on folk fisheries as a practice of everyday life among local fishermen in Ban Huahew, Khong Chiam District, Ubonratchatani, Thailand. Theories of The Practice of Everyday Life and the Community Rights are implemented for data analysis in this research.

The results revealed that fishermen of Pak Mun have their own identity, ecological culture, long settlement and the shared consciousness between Thai and Lao people from the two banks of the Mekong River. When the Pak Mun Dam construction had effect on local fishermen identity, the fishermen are stated to construct the folk narratives in relation to their everyday life for the negotiation and meaning reconstruction.

The narratives were classified into 4 groups namely folk narratives of underwater world and local geography, ghosts and local heroes, the metaphors about Pak Mun Dam, ecological culture and community rights.

In addition, the narratives of the local fishermen constitute the practice of ideology in three dimensions. First, the fishermen did not surrender to the power of the unfair state. Their narratives are the weapon of normal fishermen for constructing their own identity, ecological culture, and the shared consciousness.

They created metaphors for Pak Mun Dam and its impacts on resource areas. Second, their narratives also contain civil disobedience of the local fishermen. They express their identity, long settlement and independence from the state’s power and the shared consciousness among fishermen of Pak Mun. Third, the narratives encompass community rights by telling the story of ecological culture or the reproduction of ecological culture and the reinterpretations from the current situations.