Poster Session

Poster Session

Parental Decision Making Among Economic Migrants in the Thai-Myanmar Border Region: A Qualitative Analysis Using Bourdieu’s Multiple Forms of Capital

La prise de décision parentale chez les migrants économiques dans la région frontalière Thaïlande-Myanmar: Une analyse qualitative utilisant les formes multiples du capital de Bourdieu


Friday, October 22, 2021


15:45 – 17:30

VenueVenue 2Venue 2


Conflicts between ethnic minority groups in Myanmar and the government and military have been ongoing for the past 50 years. Enduring unrest has caused thousands to flee to the region around Mae Sot, a city on Thailand’s western border. This study investigated parenting decision-making among economic migrants from Myanmar living in protracted displacement in Mae Sot. This was part of a mixed-methods international comparative study on the experiences of parenting in adversity across five countries. In this analysis, 69 first person qualitative narratives shared by economic migrant parents facing “a lot” of or “extreme” adversity were inductively analyzed using the Qualitative Analysis Guide of Leuven (QUAGOL) approach. The motivations behind each decision were analyzed using Bourdieu’s multiple forms of capital; economic, cultural, social, and symbolic. It was expected that parenting decisions made by economic migrants would primarily be driven by a desire to acquire more economical capital for themselves, their family and their children, but other types of capital were equally important. Six overarching themes focused on specific decision-making emerged: parent leaving home for work while children live with other relatives, parents asking children to leave school to work, parents sending child to Burmese schools instead of Thai schools, parents not letting their children play with Thai children, parents discouraging sons from engaging in risky behaviour, and parents imposing heightened protection over their daughters. Each decision related to Bourdieu forms of capital in different ways. Further research directions will be discussed.

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Katrina Streef, Queen’s University; Sherri Dutton, Queen’s University; Nway Oo, Mae Tao Clinic, Thailand; Tee Tar Sway, Health Information Systems Working Group, Mae Sot, Thailand; Supaporn Trongsakul, Mae Fah Luang University; Eva Purkey, Queen's University; Susan A Bartels, Queen's University; Heather M Aldersey, Queen's University; Colleen M Davison, Queen’s University

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