Self-Transformation of the Elderly People in a Peri-Urban Area in Chiang Mai

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Worawut Ungjitpaisarn
Yos Santasombat


This research study aims to understand and account for the elderly people’s adaptation to the changes as a result of their re-engagement and, later, their self-transformation occurring in the process. The qualitative approach is used, and the relevant data were collected by means of in-depth interviews, participation, observation, and casual conversations. The unit of analysis is the changing characteristics of the elderly people through the lens of ‘emergence.’ Twelve informants participated in the study. It was found that, in the current of the on-going urbanization process in a peri-urban area in Chiang Mai, the local elderly people had to adjust themselves in the wake of the rapid disappearance of the farming career and the occurrence of several social changes, all of which were adversely affecting the maintaining of their normal life in old age. Formerly, they were seen to have comported themselves in line with the traditional way of being senior citizens: ‘relaxed farmers.’ Then interrupted by the advent of urbanization, they were socially re-engaging themselves in an attempt to adjust themselves to the situation through adopting different strategies as opportunities permitted in order to carry on as normal members of society in their urbanizing community. In so doing, they were seen to have emerged as ‘actively connective citizens.’ They were thus seen to have undergone self-transformation from ‘relaxed farmers’ to ‘actively connective citizens.’


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Ungjitpaisarn, W., & Santasombat, Y. (2020). Self-Transformation of the Elderly People in a Peri-Urban Area in Chiang Mai. Journal of Human Sciences, 21(2), 155-175. Retrieved from
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