Dr. Sophorntavy Vorng

Dr. Sophorntavy Vorng





Sophorntavy Vorng is a postdoctoral research fellow at MPI. She completed her PhD in Anthropology at the University of Sydney (2009). Her dissertational research investigated how consumption practices and divisions of urban space in Bangkok articulate class and status inequality and inform the ongoing political conflict in Thailand, with particular reference to the urban Thai middle class. She has also conducted research on contemporary urban Buddhist movements and social and political aspirations in Bangkok. Sophorntavy is currently working on a project which explores the connections between religion, marginality, and drug abuse among the highland ethnic minority communities of northern Thailand.

Research interests: Cities, space and place; consumption and identity; highland religion and ethnicity; rural-urban relations; Buddhism; aspirations and status inequality.


Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

[2012] ‘Incendiary Central: The Spatial Politics of the May 2010 Street Demonstrations in Bangkok’. Urbanities: Journal of the IUAES Commission on Urban Anthropology (2)1, pp. 46-56.

[2011] ‘Bangkok's Two Centers: Status, Space, and Consumption in a Millennial Southeast Asian City’. City and Society (23)S1, pp. 66-85. [Link]

[2011] ‘Beyond the Urban-Rural Divide: Complexities of Class, Status, and Hierarchy in Bangkok’. Asian Journal of Social Sciences 39(5), pp. 674-701. [Link]

Peer-Reviewed Working Papers

[2012] ‘Incendiary central: the spatial politics of the May 2010 street demonstrations in Bangkok’. Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity Working Paper Series, WP 12-04.  Link 

[2010] ‘Samsaric Salvation: Prosperity Cults, Political Crisis, and Middle Class Aspirations in Bangkok’. Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity Working Paper Series, WP 10-14.  Link

Book Reviews and Other Publications

[2013] ‘Fate, Buddhism’, in Arvind Sharma (ed). Encyclopaedia of Indian Religions. Dordrecht: Springer.

[2011] ‘Buddhism and Postmodern Imaginings in Thailand: The Religiosity of Urban Space’. By James L. Taylor. Farnham, England; Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute (17)2: 429-430.

[2009] ‘Khmer Women on the Move: Exploring Work and Life in Urban Cambodia’. By Annuska Derks. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press. The Australian Journal of Anthropology 20(2): 263-264.

Applied Research

[2014] ‘Sex, Abuse and Childhood: A Study About Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices Relating to Child Sexual Abuse, including in Travel and Tourism, in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Vietnam’. World Vision International and AusAID.

[2013] ‘Resilience in Vulnerable Children in Urban Communities’. World Vision International.

Dissertation and Honours Thesis

[2009] Dissertation:  'Status City: Consumption, Identity, and Middle Class Culture in Contemporary Bangkok'. Department of Anthropology, The University of Sydney, Australia.

[2005] Honours Thesis: ‘Political Legitimation in Thai Society: State Buddhism, Forest Saints, and Urban Cults'. Department of Anthropology, The University of Sydney, Australia.