Connected and Disconnected in Viet Nam

Connected and Disconnected in Viet Nam

Remaking Social Relations in a Post-socialist Nation

Edited by: Philip Taylor

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Vietnam’s shift to a market-based society has brought about profound realignments in its people’s relations with each other. As the nation continues its retreat from the legacies of war and socialism, significant social rifts have emerged that divide citizens by class, region and ethnicity. By drawing on social connections as a traditional resource, Vietnamese are able to accumulate wealth, overcome marginalisation and achieve social mobility. However, such relationship-building strategies are also fraught with peril for they have the potential to entrench pre-existing social divisions and lead to new forms of disconnectedness.

This book examines the dynamics of connection and disconnection in the lives of contemporary Vietnamese. It features 11 chapters by anthropologists who draw upon research in both highland and lowland contexts to shed light on social capital disparities, migration inequalities and the benefits and perils of gift exchange. The authors investigate ethnic minority networks, the politics of poverty, patriotic citizenship, and the ‘heritagisation’ of culture. Tracing shifts in how Vietnamese people relate to their consociates and others, the chapters elucidate the social legacies of socialism, nation-building and the transition to a globalised market-based economy. With compelling case studies and including many previously unheard perspectives, this book offers original insights into social ties and divisions among the modern Vietnamese.


ISBN (print):
ISBN (online):
Publication date:
Mar 2016
ANU Press
Vietnam Series
Arts & Humanities: Cultural Studies; Social Sciences: Anthropology, Sociology
Southeast Asia: Vietnam

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Connected and Disconnected in Viet Nam »

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  1. Social Relations, Regional Variation, and Economic Inequality in Contemporary Vietnam: A View from Two Vietnamese Rural Communities (PDF, 325KB) – Hy V. Luong doi
  2. The Dynamics of Return Migration in Vietnam’s Rural North: Charity, Community and Contestation (PDF, 235KB) – Nguyen Thi Thanh Binh doi
  3. Women as Fish: Rural Migration and Displacement in Vietnam (PDF, 575KB) – Linh Khanh Nguyen doi
  4. ‘Here, Everyone is Like Everyone Else!’: Exile and Re-emplacement in a Vietnamese Leprosy Village (PDF, 217KB) – Yen Le doi
  5. ‘The Red Seedlings of the Central Highlands’: Social Relatedness and Political Integration of Select Ethnic Minority Groups in Post-War Vietnam (PDF, 217KB) – Nguyen Thu Huong doi
  6. The Struggle to be Poor in Vietnam’s Northern Borderlands: Political Metis and Biopower in the Local State Arena (PDF, 239KB) – Peter Chaudhry doi
  7. Thai Entourage Politics in the Socialist State of Vietnam (PDF, 273KB) – Ha Viet Quan doi
  8. Searching for a Khmer Monastic Higher Education in Post‑Socialist Vietnam (PDF, 221KB) – Philip Taylor doi
  9. Described, Inscribed, Written Off: Heritagisation as (Dis)connection (PDF, 224KB) – Oscar Salemink doi
  10. Geographies of Connection and Disconnection: Narratives of Seafaring in Lý Sơn (PDF, 240KB) – Edyta Roszko doi

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