Book Discussion, “African Migration to Thailand: Race, Mobility and Integration”

Seminar no. 1212
26 April 2023 Time 5.30-7.00 pm.

Speaker: Prof. Supang Chantavanich, Assoc. Prof. Naruemon Thabchumpon, Kasit Piromya and Anthony Ukam Unor
Moderator: Rosalia Sciortino*

On 26 April 2023 at 5.30-7.00 pm, the book “African Migration to Thailand: Race, Mobility and Integration” will be discussed at SEA Junction as part of the Wednesday SEA Mobilities Seminar in collaboration with the Institute for Population and Social Research (IPSR) of Mahidol University In-House Wednesday Seminar and the Mahidol Migration Center.

The book based on exploratory ethnographic research, analyzes the experiences of African migrants in Thailand, a topic so far barely studied. Thailand has always been a regional migration hub, but migration from countries in Africa is most recent and generally overlooked. Sitting at the intersection of race and migration studies, this book focuses on the challenges migrants from Africa face trying to integrate into a society that has had very limited contact with and knowledge about these populations.

Bringing together research from African, Thai, and European scholars, this volume focuses on forced migrants, such as Somali asylum seekers, and labor migrants, largely African men seeking better livelihoods in niche economies such as gem trading, garment wholesale, and football playing and coaching. The book also includes theoretical contributions to the understanding of precarity and human security, the concept of in/visibility to analyze the challenges African migrants face in Thailand as well as the concept of othering to understand discrimination against them. Thai migration policy context and the challenges facing Thai policy-makers, law enforcement representatives, and the migrants themselves is also discussed. While not comparative in nature, this volume directly connects with studies of Africans in other parts of Asia, especially China.

One of the book editors, Supang Chantavanich, and one of the authors, Naruemon Thabchumpon, along with Kasit Piromya and Anthony Ukam Unor will be discussing the book content and provide an update of migration from Africa in Thailand. The discussion will be moderated by Rosalia Sciortino, Associate Professor IPSR and SEA Junction Director.

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