Legitimate Power and Authority in Social Mobility of Vietnamese Thai

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Krishna Thongkaew
Somsak Srisontisuk
Viyouth Chamruspanth


This article is part of a Ph.D. dissertation titled “Social Mobility of the Viet Kieu Family in Thai Society.” The article was aimed at investigating the process of social mobility of Vietnamese Thai families. The qualitative case study approach was used. Research tools included observations, case studies, in-depth interviews, and group interviews. Research results showed that legitimate power and authority in the livelihoods of Vietnamese Thai consisted of the following factors: 1) charismatic authority, which included diligence, austerity, and stability; 2) traditional authority reflected through fatherland shrines, Vietnamese language schools, and shrine houses; and 3) rational legal authority reflected through the establishment of Vietnamese Thai associations such as Thailand-Vietnam Friendship Association, Vietnamese Association of Thailand,  Business Association of Thai Vietnam. These kinds of legitimate power and authority finally led to social acceptance in Thai society.

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Thongkaew, K., Srisontisuk, S., & Chamruspanth, V. (2014). Legitimate Power and Authority in Social Mobility of Vietnamese Thai. Journal of Mekong Societies, 10(3), 123–146. Retrieved from https://so03.tci-thaijo.org/index.php/mekongjournal/article/view/26763