Document Actions

You are here: FRIAS Fellows Fellows 2020/21 Dr. Katja Rangsivek

Dr. Katja Rangsivek

Southeast Asian Studies
Junior Fellow
September 2014 - August 2015


Katja Rangsivek works on society and culture of modern Southeast Asia, especially Thailand. She is interested in:

  • Political history and political culture
  • Social structure, organization and class
  • Kinship and gender

Katja Rangsivek holds a MA in Southeast Asian Studies from Humboldt University Berlin and a PhD in Southeast Asian Studies from the University of Copenhagen (supervisor: Cynthia Chou). As a lecturer at the University of Copenhagen, she has taught in Political Science, Southeast Asian Studies and Thai language. She also has professional experience working with a non-government organization in Thailand.


Selected Publications

Book Chapters:

  • Rangsivek, Katja (2007) “Buddhismus in der Politik: Das Beipiel der Phalang Tham“ (Buddhism in Politics: The Example of the Phalang Tham), in Herrmann, Sindy & Holst, Frederik (ed.). Gesellschaft und Politik in Südostasien: eine studentische Festschrift zu Ehren von Prof. Dr. Ingrid Wessel (Society and Politics in Southeast Asia: a student festschrift in honour of Prof. Dr. Ingrid Wessel). Südostasien Working Paper 31. Berlin: Humboldt Universität zu Berlin

Presentations at Conferences:

  • Rangsivek, Katja 2008. “Femininity in Contemporary Thai Politics “, paper presented at the 10th International Conference on Thai Studies. Bangkok, 9-11 January 2008
  • 2010. “Women’s Place in the Political History of Thailand: A Review”. Paper presented at the 21st Conference of the International Association of Historians of Asia. Singapore, 22-25 June 2010.
  • 2010. “Subjectivation through Legal Changes: Happy Families, Polygamous Families and their Political Meaning”. Paper presented at Processes of Subjectivation – Colonial and Postcolonial Perspectives Conference and PhD Workshop. Copenhagen, 16-18 August 2010.
  • 2010. “How to Gender Political Space in Thailand?” Paper presented at the 4th Gendering Asia Network Conference, Copenhagen: 12-13 November 2010.
  • 2011. “The Home as Public Sphere: Negotiating Public and Private Spheres by Thai Politicians’ Wives ”. Paper presented at the AAS -ICAS Conference. Honolulu: 31 March – 3 April 2011.
  • 2011. “Politics Have Always Been a Family Business “, paper presented at the 11th International Conference on Thai Studies. Salaya, 26-28 July 2011.


FRIAS Research Project

A Study of Social Class and Traditions: Thai Elite Funeral Rituals

Thailand has recently experienced a political crisis, which is presumably caused not only in political polarization but more importantly in a striking class inequality and an ever widening gap between the upper and lower classes. This makes the study of class in a society like Thailand a pressing issue. The purpose of this research project is to investigate the relationship between class and traditions, by focusing the inquiry on the way in which traditions are used and invented to create and enforce class. One tradition that embodies class differences like no other is that of Elite funerals which will be used as a case study. The funeral rituals of Thai royalty and nobility were traditionally set apart from those of commoners by the length and pomp of the rites as well as the treatment of the corpses. It will be explored to what extent elite funeral traditions, as strategic and tactical practices, reflect and/or (re)produce, the class structure in Thailand. This question will be approached using participant observation, archival research and semi-structured interviews. The theoretical foundation of this study is Bourdieu's notion of class, in particular his concept of symbolic capital and that of Hobsbawm’s invented traditions.