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Pilapa Esara

Title: 
Associate Professor, SUNY - Brockport
Pilipa Esara

Areas of Specialization

Issues of displacement and refugee resettlement; ethnographic documentary production; gender inequality and social difference; social practices of marriage and intimacy; processes of migration and identity negotiations; economic development and globalization; Asia and its diasporas

Current Research Projects

Persons of refugee-status arrive in the U.S. to start their lives anew as survivors of violence and persecution. New York state is ranked fourth in the nation as a destination for newly-arrived refugees. The majority of these arrivals settle in western New York (90% in 2012 according to BRIA) and almost a quarter call Monroe County "home". How do refugees start over in Rochester, NY? What are their adaptation needs and challenges? I am currently analyzing the results of an ethnographic study which asked these questions concerning refugees of Burma origins.

Past research has focused on social change and economic development in Thailand. My ethnographic documentary entitled, "Day In, Day Out: Selling Food in Bangkok" offers a window into Thailand's urban foodscape. Life for the average laborer in Bangkok can be difficult. Many rent single rooms without kitchen facilities. To meet their everyday nutritional and material needs, working class residents turn to the street, to local food vendors and sidewalk merchants. The documentary explores the mundane complexities and challenges of being a small-time Bangkok entrepreneur based in an urban slum. I have also studied social change in Thailand through the lens of intimate relationships and changing notions of marriage and family.

Email: 
pesara@brockport.edu
Phone: 
(585) 395-5345