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16-06-06, 09:29 AM #1
Extended families are no longer the norm in Thailand
Extended families are no longer the norm
The Nation, 16th June 2006
Most Thai homes now comprise only parents, children
Thai families have become more "nuclear" in character, while the high divorce rate has resulted in three million broken families, an official said yesterday.
Capitalism, increased competition, and the transformation from an agricultural to an industrial society had created changes to the Thai family structure, including making it more like the nuclear-age families of the west - limited to parents and children - rather than extended, Social Develop-ment and Human Security Ministry Inspector Ubol Limsakul told 120 participants at a "Family Empowerment" seminar.
Currently, about 55 per cent of families, or about 16 million, are categorised as being "nuclear-age", while 32 per cent are extended families, Ubol said, citing a study entitled, "Thai children nurtured in the four years of the new government".
The study also found that as the marriage registration rate had declined, the number of out-of-wedlock couples had increased, Ubol said.
The high divorce rate had now affected three million families in Thailand, especially in Bangkok and nearby provinces. About
1.3 million families were found to be single-parent families, she added.
A new type of family of same-sex couples had emerged and was growing, as Thai society had become more open and gave opportunities for gay people to live openly as couples, Ubol said. There were no statistics on this new family type as yet.
As for problems most encountered by Thai families, they included poverty-related issues such as increasing debt, domestic violence, lack of land and drug abuse. There are currently 500,000 HIV-positive people in Thailand, according to Ubol.
Another speaker, Asst Prof Apinya Vejayachai, dean of Thammasat University's Faculty of Social Administration, said government assistance for Thai family problems was negligible, as agencies still regard this area as a matter for the individuals involved to cope with.
In contemporary Thai society there were two types of family, Apinya said.
The first was the "modern" family, in which parents were too busy working and thus had no time to raise their children, leaving them with substitute institutions such as nurseries. This led to children growing up physically but not emotionally or psychologically.
The second type was the "post-modern" family. They were more individual but felt lonely and seemed to judge and praise people for their fame, wealth and social status, she said.
17-06-06, 11:36 PM #2
Where can I bury my head in the sand?
Hmmm, after coming back from a trip to Siam Paragon, I didn't need to hear this news.
It is certainly not my place to tell the Thai people not to become wealthier and more prosperous. But I really do wish people could "develop" / "progress" with some wisdom as well. Do we really want to loose the extended family and all the extra social benefits that come with it? Do we all really want to be like the people I saw in Siam Paragon (who might as well have been in Sydney)? Sure they can buy lots of stuff to put in their BMWs and fill up their expensive znd large homes, but they have no manners, they seem to have no compassion, their children are brats and will not contribute to the planet? (sorry - that is actually not true - it is a generalisation, but it does seem partially true). What is definitely true is that the world cannot afford this level of expenditure. So why bother learning to go down that path? We actually need to learn to use much less than what we currently are.
Living in nuclear families is not going to help. Living in sharing and caring communities will.
I have an idea. Can people please please please listen to His Majesty the King and please please please study about Buddha and what he actually taught. Yes, he was trying to teach you to be happy.
OK. Sorry. That is my rant for today. I know I should be more calm, but it seems a shame.
Oh, by the way, I went to Laos recently. Seemed really nice.
18-06-06, 03:20 AM #3Paknam Web Online Staff
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