To be Karen in the Thai-Burma borderlands: identity formation through the prism of a human rights discourse

Sharples, R 2017, 'To be Karen in the Thai-Burma borderlands: identity formation through the prism of a human rights discourse', Asian Ethnicity, vol. 18, no. 1, pp. 74-94.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title To be Karen in the Thai-Burma borderlands: identity formation through the prism of a human rights discourse
Author(s) Sharples, R
Year 2017
Journal name Asian Ethnicity
Volume number 18
Issue number 1
Start page 74
End page 94
Total pages 21
Publisher Taylor and Francis
Abstract Current debates on Karen identity have tended to focus on the development of a nationalist construct of a pan-Karen community. This article moves beyond this notion to explore a Karen identity that is being recast in the form of a human rights discourse where the Karen construct, adapt, and reify the social aspects of their political identity in order to establish a claim to a political self, where they protest the persecution and discrimination waged against them as well as larger claims around governance and political representation. This human rights discourse is framed by increased emphasis in the Thai-Burma borderlands on a human rights framework to address Burma's ongoing conflict. Such an argument has the potential to move current debates beyond the more militant ethno-nationalist discourses of the Karen identity and develop an adequate framework for the practices of identity, which occur among displaced Karen in the Thai-Burma borderlands.
Subject Race and Ethnic Relations
Keyword(s) human rights
identity
persecution
militant-nationalism
borderlands
DOI - identifier 10.1080/14631369.2015.1088378
Copyright notice © 2015 Taylor and Francis
ISSN 1463-1369
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