Problematizing the Western Paradigm of Homophobic Bullying: A Socio-Cultural Study of Non-Normative Gender Teasing in Thailand
Keywords:Homophobic Bullying, Western Paradigm, Non-Normative Gender, Socio-cultural Context, Thailand
This paper argues against Western theories and paradigms that are used to describe the problem of bullying. The behavioral science and psychological knowledge that dominate studies in other societies leads to emphasize that bullying in all societies is a result of aggression and those who are bullied are vulnerable victims. I need to indicate that when Thai scholars describe the problem of homophobic bullying they tend to overlook the social and cultural dimensions that have changed in the past 80 years, which often brings western thoughts to explain the non-normative gender. This leads to insults and discrimination that make parents feel ashamed of having gay, kathoey (male transgender) and tom (female transgender) children. In the Thai context, I argue that people who claim a non-normative gender identity are not passive victims but they can express thier sexual/gender identity within amusing bullying and teasing situations. This is an ever-evolving form of complex social relationship.
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