Continuity and Change in Dalat Plu: A Chinese Middle Class Business Community in Thailand

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Donn V. Hart


Social structure, Reconstruction, Behavior, Chinese community

Subject Categories



Important changes have occurred in the size and physical arrangement as well as the social structure of Dalat Plu over the past years. For example, there has been a shift in the center of the business community and complete reconstruction of the community after a devastating fire. The early community was small, exclusively Chinese, with clearly demarcated borders; the present community is large, with Thai and Chinese sections merging into each other. Physical changes can be readily observed, but changes in behavior and social structure are more difficult to discern. It is postulated that the value system of any people is a sensitive indicator of change; that is, an analysis of action in terms of the value system will reveal the areas where significant changes are taking place and lend understanding of the nature, direction and causes of social change.

Eight categories of value for the Dalat Phu Chinese businessman will be analyzed to determine how these values change or remain stable in a Thai setting. It is maintained that such an analysis is a meaningful way to express the changes occurring in the Chinese community both internally and in wider Thai community.


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