chapter  2
19 Pages

The evolution of Lao sociocultures

In this chapter, I aim to reconstruct the development of Lao social structure in relation to the division of work.1 I argue that all the earlier forms of social structure and the division of work persist in Laos and continue to determine current patterns of acting as sociocultures. With contemporary globalization, a multitude of fields have started to emerge. These fields are not autonomous, but are dominated by the political and, increasingly, the economic fields which are engaged in a struggle to determine the hierarchy of fields within Laos. However, they are not pure systems with a unified logic and structure, as they include earlier cultures and structures. Fields, sociocultures and social structures form a complex configuration that can only be understood historically.