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Marketing in North-Central Thailand. A study of socio-economic organisation in a Thai market town.

Kuwinpant, Preecha (1979) Marketing in North-Central Thailand. A study of socio-economic organisation in a Thai market town. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.94470) (KAR id:94470)


Anthropological studies of marketing have generally been both of theoretical and empirical importance, but in Thailand such studies have been very limited owing to a predominant interest in village studies, and the commercial domination of the Chinese. In this dissertation I discuss marketing organisation in Wang Thong, a small town in Phitsanulok Province in North-Central Thailand.

Very little work has been done on the social organisation of Thai market towns. By concentrating on marketing and on the social structure of Wang Thong, I explore the pattern of interpersonal relationships between individuals and groups. A study of the market enables me to obtain insights into various aspects of social, economic and political activities.

The marketing community can be viewed as a 'moral' community whereby traders are 'related' to each other through kinship, friendship and neighbourliness, though only siblings and parents children relationships are significant where marketing is concerned. I argue from an analysis of trader-customer relations that an emphasis on only one aspect of the relationship, i.e. the relationship based on universalistic or particularistic principles, is misleading, for in Wang Thong the two aspects co-exist as part and parcel of the overall marketing organisation.

The market has been dominated by the Chinese and Sino-Thai who, unlike the Chinese in Bangkok where a high degree of 'Chinese-ness' has been preserved, have been largely assimilated into Thai society through education and inter-marriage. Marketing organisation is analysed to demonstrate the linkage between the Chinese in Bangkok, Phitsanulok, Wang Thong and the villages.

Wang Thong town is a centre for social, economic and political activities. The analysis touches on the dynamic relationship between traders, officials, and farmers and among the traders themselves. The study shows that traders are also innovators introducing new cash crops and modern equipment to farmers, and thus social integration and economic development can be realised through the marketing network, i.e. by strengthening the links and feeding in information concerning marketing and production. Finally, the study sheds lights on mobility and change within the marketing community, this being a reflection of the general conditions of the rural economy.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.94470
Additional information: This thesis has been digitised by EThOS, the British Library digitisation service, for purposes of preservation and dissemination. It was uploaded to KAR on 25 April 2022 in order to hold its content and record within University of Kent systems. It is available Open Access using a Creative Commons Attribution, Non-commercial, No Derivatives ( licence so that the thesis and its author, can benefit from opportunities for increased readership and citation. This was done in line with University of Kent policies ( If you feel that your rights are compromised by open access to this thesis, or if you would like more information about its availability, please contact us at and we will seriously consider your claim under the terms of our Take-Down Policy (
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation
SWORD Depositor: SWORD Copy
Depositing User: SWORD Copy
Date Deposited: 09 Jun 2023 15:27 UTC
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2023 15:28 UTC
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