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New article published - Thai Silk Dot Com: Authenticity, Altruism, Modernity and Markets in the Thai Silk Industry


An article that I had accepted into Globalizations has made its way into print:

Graham, M. 2013. Thai Silk Dot Com: Authenticity, Altruism, Modernity and Markets in the Thai Silk IndustryGlobalizations. 10(2) 211-230.

The abstract is below, and you can access a pre-publication version at this link.

The production of silk occupies a unique place in Thai cultural and economic practices. However, the practice is rarely passed on to the younger generation and is widely considered to be a dying craft. In response, influential organizations have proposed use of the internet as a way to reinvigorate the industry and attract new customers. This paper looks at the discourses used to sell silk and the ways in which sellers are either framing Thai silk as a traditional craft in need of saving or as an enterprise that efficiently engages with the commercial needs of the global economy. The paper reviews the range of, often problematic, emotions, images, and associations used to sell a dying craft. Ultimately, it argues that, in contrast to many of the theorized effects of the internet, it seems to be neither encouraging mass homogenization nor pushing sellers to effectively integrate themselves into global markets.