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Browsing by Author "Mustakallio, Onni"

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  • Mustakallio, Onni (2023)
    The subject of my thesis is an academy in Bangkok for Burmese migrants. The thesis explores the socioeconomic conditions of the migrants and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the academy's resources. The academy is referred to as ”DA”. The thesis analyzes how the academy aims to support the migrant community. The objective of the thesis is to provide an example of a community actively working to improve the opportunities of the migrants in Thai society. Furthermore, the thesis offers an example of how the COVID-19 pandemic is reflected in the lives of economically disadvantaged migrants. The data for the thesis consists of relevant literature, interviews, field diary, and statistics. The field diary and interviews were collected during February and March 2023 when I conducted a six-week ethnographic fieldwork in Bangkok. In addition to qualitative data, I also utilize data gathered by the DA about its students. The theoretical framework of the research consists of a collection of concepts, including precarity, cultural citizenship, social inclusion, and placemaking. Based on the research data, the situations of DA's migrant community members vary. The majority of DA's students work in low-paying manual labor, such as domestic work, factory work, or in inexpensive restaurants. Many have unstable lives, as they have low income, low educational level and limited social networks. In other words, their living conditions are precarious. These conditions are visible in the academy’s daily life as irregularity of participation and learning difficulties. DA's current operational capacity is also affected by the significant economic losses caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, resulting in reduced courses, materials, and teaching staff. The DA's ability to support the Burmese migrant community has reduced due to the pandemic. For example, cultural events and Burmese language courses that previously were included in the activities are no longer a part of the academy. The reduction in community building is a serious issue for the DA, as tensions between ethnic groups and the internal political crisis in Myanmar cause lack of trust within the Burmese community.