Searching for a Better Life. Growing Up in the Slums of Bangkok by Sorcha Mahony is an engaging but highly readable ethnography of youth in Thailand’s capital.
What does searching for a better life mean for those struggling to get by in a rapidly developing and globalizing economy? How do they try to fulfil their dreams? And how do they deal with the outcomes and side effects of their endeavours?
By avoiding sensationalism and by penetrating the everyday dimension of a group of slum dwellers in Bangkok, Mahony develops a reflection along three main axes: living the teenage life, doing the right thing, and forging the future. These translate into forms of engagement in global cultural practices, in local cultural practices, and in educational and economic activity designed to reduce hardship and improve material standards of living
As searching for a better life is currently a dominant concept on the global level, this book is a welcome contribution to scholarly and public debates on inequality and struggles for change.