This is a powerful feminist critique of the 'Western' concept of development. It is also an attempt to rediscover and rehabilitate traditional indigenous knowledge as an important basis for empowering women and re-establishing the foundation of reciprocity in North-South dialogue.
The author looks at the wreckage progress has wreaked on the lives of Thai sex workers and of indigenous peoples globally and contrasts this with a portrait - in words and pictures - of her own undeveloped mother, 'gardener, agriculturalist, cook, entertainer, tool and toy inventor and maker, traditional doctor, resources manager, energy conservationist, food scientist, home economist, sustainable developer, ecologist and environmentalist'.
In exploring the possibilities for an appropriate development path, Sinith Sittirak applies the framework of a political economy of development which acknowledges the politics of identity and difference. Central to her framework is the recognition that 'development' is part of that universalizing process which imposes sameness by speaking for or naming the 'Other' and by excluding difference.