The Moral Disintegration and the Politics of Cultural Emotions within Thailand’s Current, Deeply Divided Political Conflicts

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Thannapat Jarernpanit


This article aims to study the problems caused by the deep political divisions that currently exist in Thailand, and the conflicts they are causing. In particular, the article looks at the division between the ‘yellow shirt’ and ‘red shirt’ political groups during the last decade. It is argued that neither of these groups was ever really internally unified, comprised instead of a wide diversity of social sub-groups which shared different desires, ideologies and cultural emotions. The problem of a deeply divided society highlights the disparities that exist within the political and emotional framework of the country. Importantly, the illusion of morality has concealed and suppressed the diversity of thoughts and moral values in many groups of society. Subsequently, Thai political conflict and polarization demonstrate the struggle for power of political and moral meaning among several social sub-groups. This struggle is reflected in the cultural forces of emotions, which display greater complexity than the seemingly binary conflict between the yellow and red shirts.


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