Title: Framing the Violence in Southern Thailand: Three Waves of Malay-Muslim Separatism
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Author: Jones, Sara A
Degree: Master of Arts - Southeast Asia Studies, 2007.
Advisor: Elizabeth Fuller Collins
This thesis examines how the Thai newspaper, "The Nation" (an English-language daily), portrays the violence in the Malay-Muslim South through the use of agenda-setting concepts and framing analyses in articles published about four events in 2004. Two of the events are examples of state aggression against southern insurgents whereas the other two are instances in which southern insurgents were the primary aggressors against the state and/or citizens. The history of the Malay-Muslim dominant provinces is reviewed, showing how the separatist movement has evolved into three distinct waves. The original secessionist movements focused on ethnic Malay identity; over time elements of Islamist ideology were introduced such that the current movement is not recognizably a separatist or Islamist movement. This thesis also includes a short analysis of articles published in "Matichon sutsapda," a Thai-language weekly, and shows how Malay-Muslim Thais in the South demand justice. This thesis argues that representations of the conflict in the media frame it in terms of Thai/Malay ethnicity or Buddhist/Islamist identity which obscure the need for political reforms and justice.
Southern Thailand; Malay-Muslims; Framing analysis; Separatist movements
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