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Social capital in the Huang Riverside communities for supporting the relationship of border Thailand : Laos

The purposes of this research were 1) to study the social capital for supporting a relationship of Thai-Lao bordering community along the Huang River, 2) to examine problems of using the social capital, and 3) to discover ways to support a relationship of Thai-Lao bordering community along the Huang River. The research was carried out with qualitative method and the target group consisted of 30 as representatives of career groups, government units, community leaders, local intellectuals, villagers, and youth. The tools used to acquire research data were semistructural interviewing form, observation form, and focus group discussion guides. The data was analyzed with content analysis along with triangulation method and presented in a form of descriptive analysis.

The findings were as follows.

1. The social capital for supporting a relationship of Thai-Lao bordering community along the Huang River in Loei province as looking through the interrelationship at the primary level revealed that there were several relationships among relatives such as having the same ancestors, getting married, patronizing, co-doing business, and having an ordain as Buddhist monk. For the secondary level of interrelationship in the community, the study revealed that there was an establishment of a group supported by Provincial Social Development Center, Loei, and another group founded by key people that the community and the government unit trust. The objective of the establishment was to fix the problems featuring special characteristics of the border area. For the socio-cultural dimension, it revealed that the community had beliefs in Buddhism, in ghost and superstition and sacred things. Apart from those, the people in the community had social awareness on ethnic history. The Huang River was respected as the relationship link for the communities along the river.

2. The problems of the using social capital for supporting a relationship of Thai-Lao bordering community along the Huang River in Loei province could be identified that the relative help caused network migrating to Thailand illegally, which led to problems about common rights and citizenships. This also affected the family and social equality problems.

3. The approaches for using social capital to support the relationship of Thai-Lao bordering community along the Huang River in Loei province, as for the development in the level of individual person, the study revealed that the approaches were suitable at community level. The activities of cultural traditions along the Huang River should be promoted. Moreover the involved sectors in Lao PDR should be invited to participate in every activity. At policy level, Huang River cultural tourism should be promoted. For social problem solving, organizations should be established, which comprise the corporations of committee from the communities and the governments unit as the key people in solving problems and developing the communities along the Huang River in Loei province.

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