Extensive literature can be found concerning the presence of individualism in Western cultures and collectivism in Eastern cultures. By undertaking a combined analysis of the linguistic and visual structure of texts, this article analyses the notions of individualism and collectivism in Thai picture books. Through an examination of picture books that won the National Book Development Committee Awards for small children (6-11 years old) from 1987 to 2006, the article examines the ways in which authors present the relationship between the individual and the community.
The analysis shows that the image of the Thai community is dominated by discourses of social integration and harmony, which aim to produce and reproduce an idealised image of community where all members know their proper role, support one another, and live together happily in peace and harmony. Yet some slight changes can also be detected in the way that perspectives on social integration and harmony are constructed at certain periods. These changes indicate the strong connection between the discourse of children’s books and the political climate at the time they were published
(Published in Rian Thai: International Journal of Thai Studies, Volume 7/2014, Page 183-216)
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