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Dreams of Prosperity : Inequality and Integration in Southeast Asia - (Paperback)
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This fresh and unusual collection offers a critical reflection on Southeast Asia as a progressively integrated space of production, exchange, and circulation within and beyond national boundaries. The essays describe the successful or unsuccessful entry of specific individuals or groups into wider markets and networks in their quest for prosperity—in Thailand, by Lua peasant farmers, slum families, the last century’s teak laborers, and ethnic tour hosts; in Indonesia, by communities resisting environmental destruction and the urban poor; and in Vietnam, by human trafficking returnees. The authors examine how these groups are socially and symbolically defined and redefined in the process of integration and the sense-making effort that characterizes many destitute people in urban contexts.