Thai Civilization/Socio-Political Background of the Thai Society

Socio-Political Background of the Thai Society


The king is the head of state. The prime minister or premier is the head of government.

The premier and other members of the Cabinet make the Government's policies and carry out the operations of the government.

Thailand is divided into 76 provinces. The capital city is Bangkok. In terms of its administrative divisions, the provinces are divided into 795 districts (amphoe), 81 subdistricts (king amphoe), 7,255 rural administrative subdistricts (tambon), and 69,866 villages (muban).

Social Structure of the Thai SocietyEdit

‘ village’ or ‘Moo Ban’ is the most basic unit of the structure. In the past, it was a self-contained community in terms of economy and basic needs.

In general, Thai people's ways of life and customs are based mainly on agricultural activities and religious activities. Most villages had a wat (Buddhist monastery). Most villages have a shrine for a village deity. Wats have been the spiritual and educational centers.

The Sakdina SystemEdit

Prai Sakdina System of the Ayudthaya Period

The Prai-Sakdinal system was a form of social system during the Ayudthaya period. It was established to serve the state as well as to function as a means to balance the power of the administration of the kingdom/government.

The Prai (commoners) Sakdina system was invented to support the power of the rulers. During that time, Thai society divided its Prais or commoners into three groups:

1) Prai Som, 2) Prai Suai, and 3) Prai Luang

1) Prai Som worked for the lords. Their wellbeings depended on their masters or lords. During the Ayudthaya period, this category of people worked for the state every other month (one month for the state - one month for the self). This system, perhaps, has created the concept of 'Nai' (Master) in Thai society (even today).

2) Prai Suai were war captives or labor given to the state by its vassal states.

3) Prai Luang served the king.