- The politics of the aesthetic body
- The moral life of blind singers in contemporary Thailand
- Award date
- 18 May 2017
- Number of pages
- Document type
- PhD thesis
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
What constitutes blind singers’ moral world, their ethics and self-conception as aesthetic subjects under their distinctive sensory modes of perception? How the principal moralities specific to the Thai cultural contexts promote the cultivation of moral sentiment and self-governance among the blind singers?. These are the main questions that gave rise to this anthropological research on the blind singers’ moral experiences and ethical moments. The fieldwork was ethnographic in character. It was carried out mainly in Bangkok, Thailand, from September 2010 to November 2011. This research argues that to become free moral subjects amid the various conflict situations the blind singers face during their social lives, they have to maintain the dilemma of ethical practices: presenting themselves simultaneously as freelance blind singers and as beggars within the others’ scopic regime. The research also reveals that the use of creativity by the blind singers, in order to become moral subjects and secure freedom within their ethical existence, poses a dilemma: they have to learn how to cultivate virtue – i.e. to become moral subjects – by balancing their ambiguous self between working, being autonomous and having agency on the basis of neo-liberalist moral political ideology, and being a person with disabilities who should be pitied and seek help according to the Buddhist moral rhetoric of ve-tha-na.
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