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Societies 2016, 6(3), 26; doi:10.3390/soc6030026

Rural Villagers’ Quality of Life Improvement by Economic Self-Reliance Practices and Trust in the Philosophy of Sufficiency Economy

1
Environmental Social Sciences Program, Department of Social Sciences and Humanities, School of Liberal Arts, King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi, Thungkru, Bangkok 10140, Thailand
2
Urban Environmental Planning and Development Program, Faculty of Architecture and Planning, Thammasat University, Rangsit Campus, Pathumthani 12121, Thailand
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Gregor Wolbring
Received: 16 June 2016 / Revised: 14 August 2016 / Accepted: 17 August 2016 / Published: 23 August 2016
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Abstract

The concept of economic self-reliance, widely known by Thai people as the philosophy of sufficiency economy, has been widely promoted in rural Thai societies. By practicing this philosophy, it is expected that the citizens’ quality of life and local environments could be sustainably improved. This study aims to explore the contribution of the community practices of the sufficiency economy philosophy to rural villagers’ quality of life improvement, and to investigate potential factors that determine the trust of villagers in the philosophy. With the purpose to propose strategies which could enhance trust and promote villagers’ practices of the philosophy, the study investigated influences of three relevant factors on trust towards the philosophy. Those factors included factors related to cognitive-based trust, factors related to emotional-based trust, and factors related to demographic characteristics. Questionnaire surveys and in-depth interviews with community leaders and local villagers were conducted in the Ban Jamrung community, in Thailand’s Rayong Province. The results of the statistical analysis revealed that the residents who applied the sufficiency economy philosophy in their daily lives experienced a relatively better quality of life. Additionally, it was found that trust in the philosophy could be predicted more by rational factors than by emotional factors. These findings could be utilized to develop strategies to maintain and enhance the trust of the people in the philosophy of sufficiency economy. View Full-Text
Keywords: community trust; social trust; the philosophy of sufficiency economy; Local sustainability community trust; social trust; the philosophy of sufficiency economy; Local sustainability
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Janmaimool, P.; Denpaiboon, C. Rural Villagers’ Quality of Life Improvement by Economic Self-Reliance Practices and Trust in the Philosophy of Sufficiency Economy. Societies 2016, 6, 26.

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