Standing in the shadows: Of matrilocality and the role of women in a village election in northern Thailand



In this article, I analyze a village election in Thailand to show how anthropological insights into kinship systems can provide important avenues into understanding the gender dynamics of electoral politics. Because few women hold public office in Thailand, Thai politics has been considered a male domain. Exploring four social dramas in which conflicts made the hidden role of women visible, I argue that the public domain of electoral politics in rural Thailand is embedded within village practices of matrilocality and matrilineal kinship. [politics, elections, public sphere, women, matrilocality, matrilineages, Thailand]