Webinar: Business practices in Phnom Penh from 1990 to the present day: changing identities and ethos within spaces of sociability
Date and Time: Feb 15, 2024 from 9:30pm HST
Exploring the history of businessmen since the 1990s, this talk considers the formation of a social group, businessmen, and their practices in Phnom Penh in a specific historical context.
At the crossroads of political and economic history, business history and the sociology of elites, the talk focuses on businessmen as a social group of rational individuals, rooted in specific institutions, interacting with the social, political and economic space that surrounds them. It is in line with questions relating to the practice of business in Cambodia, and more specifically among the Sino-Khmer, the Chinese of Southeast Asia as a whole and the Chinese of the PRC.
The methodology envisaged consists in analyzing the functioning of business sociability spaces in Phnom Penh, while seeking to understand the role of community and family networks in the functioning of business circles. Drawing on a series of field surveys of businessmen’s socialization structures, such as clubs and associations, it describes how these spaces enable them to meet, mobilize, constitute themselves as a social group and, where appropriate, pursue common goals and interests. It should thus be possible to describe the evolution of their members’ identity positioning, their practices and their interactions with the social space in general. By considering these institutions of sociability as spaces that influence the lives of individuals, this work will question the hypothesis of the construction of a “referential” of the Phnom Penh business community around common practices.