05/22/2019, 11:52, Vienna  DEUTSCH / ENGLISH

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I am delighted for the opportunity to describe my experience with participatory research methods in The Vienna Psychoanalyst with the Karen people and I hope for an interdisciplinary exchange of ideas on the subject. For example, I would be interested in how psychoanalysts interpret the children´s drawings ([see figure 1] The author thanks her father, Franz Vogler, for the technical processing of the drawings) in the continuous text. It would also be important to know what ethnopsychoanalysts have to say of the Karen people and their cultural symbolism.

As a PhD social scientist at Oxford University, I have been working with the Karen tribe people for more than ten years. The Karen people mainly live in the highlands of East Burma and northwest Thailand. Due to economic and cultural reasons, they have a marginalized position in Thai society: initially, most Karen people live as rice farmers in the highlands of northwest Thailand, where there are only limited opportunities to earn money through trade or services. Although many young Karen people spend time in urban areas to make money, most of them live in rural areas and have less income than the majority population. Culturally, the Karen people differ from the Thai population because they have their own mother tongue and their everyday life is characterized by other traditional behavior than is common among the majority population. The Karen people also wear different clothes and eat different food than the Thais. However, in everyday practice, there are always overlaps between Thai and Karen culture, not least because the Karen children go to state schools where Thai is spoken....

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