Considered to be one of Thailand’s most renowned singers, Pumpuang Duangjan was a beloved singer, actress, and model who changed the genre of luk thung, or Thai country music, by shaping it into a dance-ready form. Her music and lyricism were significant, as they conveyed the struggles of Thailand’s most vulnerable of citizens—women, peasants, and the poor—under the weighted shadow of national development and global capitalism, in addition to dominant idealizations of a homogenizing Thai identity. Chronicling Thailand as a postcolonial subject and moving beyond upper-class and royalist notions of Thainess, an examination of the musical craft of Pumpuang Duangjan, her songs, and their lyrical content help reimagine Thainess and state politics as viewpoints of the marginalized and disenfranchised become recentered.

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