Patrick Jory, “A History of Manners and Civility in Thailand” (Cambridge UP, 2021)

If you’ve visited Thailand even for a short time you’ve probably been given, or have come across, some basic instructions on dos and don’ts — where to put, or not to put, your hands and feet, what to wear or not to wear to a temple, why not to get angry in public, that sort of thing. Perhaps you’ve wondered about the pedagogies that give these social practices their durability. And whether you’ve been to the country or not you might have seen news reports showing prime ministers and army generals prostrate in front of members of the royal family, and have wondered how almost a century after the demise of the absolute monarchy deference to sovereign power is so resolutely performed.

If so, then you’ve come to the right podcast! On this episode of New Books in Southeast Asian Studies one of the channel hosts, Patrick Jory, sits on the interviewee’s side of the microphone to talk about his A History of Manners and Civility in Thailand (Cambridge University Press, 2021). In a wide-ranging discussion Patrick outlines how manners have been codified over successive periods in Thailand; why Norbert Elias is still relevant for an understanding of the civilizing process not only in Europe but beyond, and the pertinence historical research for interpreting Thai society and politics into the 21st century.

Like this interview? If so you might also be interested in:

Nick Cheesman is Associate Professor, Department of Political & Social Change, Australian National University. He hosts the New Books in Interpretive Political & Social Science series on the New Books Network.

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

Support our show by becoming a premium member!

Visit New Books in Anthropology for the podcast. There is something wrong with this RSS-feed. Lorenz,