From “Asia As Method” To “home As Method”: The Internal (De)- Colonization Of Knowledge And Subjectivity In The Thai Curriculum Studies

Omsin Jatuporn


Thailand has never been officially colonized by foreign powers whereas the re-appropriation of neo-liberal policy and nationalistic propaganda by the Thai government to promote the conservative elites’ version of nation-centrism clearly functions to maintain the hierarchical social structure and dominant hegemony through education. Grounded in Chen’s idea, Asia as Method, Winichakul’s framework (2014) on Thai cultural studies, home as method, has been recontextualized for understanding how the researcher gain and encounter educational experiences as well as having freedom of choice to reconstitute on the powerful curriculum discourse in Thailand. The notion of “home” signifying Thailand is a part of Asia is used to move beyond the debate over “us vs. them” or “insider vs. outsider” which is neither misleading nor productive. Additionally, it is employed for the understanding of the hegemonic roles of national elites on policy re-contextualization to combine both the neo-liberalism and neo-conservative discourse in education. Given that “curriculum studies” is an intellectual sphere in which competing discourses, plural assumptions, and pedagogical practices deserved its place, the field itself needs to be reconceptualized and goes beyond the legacy of both western cultural imperialism and internal colonialism, a legacy that continues to take place at the deep-rooted cultural and psychological level and plays a significant role in constructing cultural imaginary and subjectivity, which also has shaped many of our ideas about education, schooling, curriculum, and pedagogy. Thus, the onus is on us, critical curriculum workers, to explore and discover our diverse reflective ways in order to move forward our critical curriculum projects. The relationship between the home as method and critical curriculum projects needs to be a point of departure for discussions and an illustration of how curriculum as a form of cultural practice and cultural politics works to hegemonize particular knowledge production and distribution for many decades in Thailand.

Full Text:



Allan, E.J. (2008). Policy discourses, gender, and education: Constructing women’s status. New York: Routledge.

Anderson, B. (1991). Imagined communities: Reflections on the origin and spread of Nationalism. 2nd ed. London: Verso.

Ball, S.J. (1990). Politics and policy making in education. London: Routledge.

Buripakdi, A. (2013). Autoethnography: Introductory conceptual framework. The Journal of Liberal Arts, Prince of Songkla University, 5(1), 63-75.

Chen, K.H. (2010). Asia as method: Toward deimperialization. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Harrison, R.V., & Jackson, P. A. (2010). The ambiguous allure of the West: Traces of the colonial in Thailand. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press and Cornell University Southeast Asia Program.

Jackson, P.A. (2007). Autonomy and subordination in Thai history: The case for semicolonial analysis. Inter-Asia Cultural Studies, 8(3), 329-348.

Jory, P. (2003). Problems in contemporary Thai nationalist historiography. Kyoto Review of Southeast Asia. Issue 3: Nations and other stories.

Kanu, Y. (2003). Curriculum as cultural practice: Postcolonial imagination. Journal of the Canadian Association for Curriculum Studies, 1(1), 67-81.

Lin, A.M.Y. (2012). Towards transformation of knowledge and subjectivity in curriculum inquiry: Insights from Chen Kuan-Hsing’s ‘Asia as Method’. Curriculum Inquiry, 42(1), 153-178.

Pinar, W.F. (1975). Curriculum theorizing: The reconceptualists. Berkeley, CA: McCutchan.

Pinar, W. F. (2003). International handbook of curriculum research. Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers.

Razfar, A. (2012). Language ideologies and curriculum studies: An empirical approach to “worthwhile” questions. Journal of Curriculum Theorizing, 28(1), 127-140.

Reynolds, C.J., & Hong, L. (1983). Marxism in Thai historical studies. Journal of Asian Studies, 43(1), 77-104.

Reynolds, C.J. (1987). Thai radical discourse: The real face of Thai feudalism today. Ithaca, NY: Southeast Asia Program, Cornell University.

Rhee, J. (2013). Methodology of leaving America for Asia: Reading South Korea’s social studies textbooks through Chen Kuan-Hsing’s Asia as Method. Qualitative Research in Education, 2(3), 328-354.

Richardson, G.H. (2002). The death of the good Canadian: Teachers, national identities, and the social studies curriculum. New York: Peter Lang.

Rizvi, F. (2015). Learning Asia: In search of a new narrative. Asia literate schooling in the Asian century. New York: Routledge.

Taylor, S., Rizvi, F., Lingard, B., & Henry, M. (1997). Educational policy and the politics of change. London: Routledge.

Winichakul, T. (1994). Siam mapped: A history of the geo-body of a nation. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.

Winichakul, T. (2000). The others within: Travel and ethno-spatial differentiation of Siamese subjects 1885-1910. Civility and savagery: Social identities in the Tai states. Richmond, Surrey: Curzon.

Winichakul, T. (2014). Asian studies across academics. The Journal of Asian Studies, 73(4), 879-897.

Zhang, H., Chan, P.W.K., & Kenway, J. (2015). Asia as method in education studies: A defiant research imagination. London: Routledge.


  • There are currently no refbacks.