Gender, Household and State in Post-Revolutionary Vietnam (28/10/2019)

This book examines gender in post-revolutionary Vietnam, focusing on gender relations in the family and state since the onset of economic reform in 1986. Drawing on a wide range of primary sources (including surveys, interviews, and responses to film screenings), Jayne Werner demonstrates that despite the formal institution of public gender equality in Vietnam, in practice women do not hold a great deal of power, continuing to defer to men in both the family and the wider community. Contrary to conventional analyses equating liberalisation and decentralisation with a reduced role for the state over social relations, this book argues that gender relations continued to bear the imprint of state gender policies and discourses in the post-socialist state. While the household remained a highly statist sphere, the book also shows that the unequal status of men and women in the family was based on kinship ties that provided the underlying structure of the family and (contrary to resource theory) depended less on their economic contribution than on family norms and conceptions of proper gendered behaviour. Werner’s analysis explores the ways in which the Doi Moi state utilised constructions of gender to advance its own interests, just as the communist revolutionary regime had earlier used gender as a key strategic component of post-colonial government. Thus this book makes an important and original contribution to the study of gender in post-socialist countries.

Vietnam’s Women in Transition (28/10/2019)

Women experiencing the dynamic changes of rapid industrialization in the Vietnam of today - in the family, the factory, the farm and the state - from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City - are the focus of this book. Here, the latest Vietnamese research and policy on women and the family are in dialogue with US feminist theory, research and analysis, providing a multi-disciplinary approach to women's labour, health and fertility, rural development, violence against women, and women's historical and political status at a critical moment of economic and social change.

Gender-Biased Sex Selection in South Korea, India and Vietnam: Assessing the Influence of Public Policy (28/10/2019)

This book provides an in-depth analysis of the influence of public policy on sex selection. Three Asian countries were chosen for the comparative policy analysis, namely South Korea, India and Vietnam that share in common a historical legacy of son preference, high levels of sex imbalances and active policy response to curbing the growing demographic masculinization of their nations. The research based on the data collected from field work in the three countries shows that despite the adoption of very similar anti-sex selection policies the outcomes have been markedly different for each of the three countries. These unexpected diverse outcomes are explained partly by their different historical and cultural contexts, and partly to the different social, political and economic institutions and dynamics. This monograph offers careful and detailed explanations of both within and across country diversities in policy outcomes, pointing to the importance and the limits of cross-national policy learning and adoption, and raising questions about the efficacy of international organizations’ current approaches to global policy and knowledge transfer.

Familial Properties: Gender, State, and Society in Early Modern Vietnam, 1463 - 1778 (28/10/2019)

Familial Properties is the first full-length history of Vietnamese gender relations in the precolonial period. Author Nhung Tuyet Tran shows how, despite the bias in law and practice of a patrilineal society based on primogeniture, some women were able to manipulate the system to their own advantage. Women succeeded in taking pragmatic advantage of socioeconomic turmoil during a time of war and chaos to acquire wealth and, to some extent, control what happened to their property.

Cult, Culture, and Authority: Princess Lieu Hanh in Vietnamese History (27/10/2019)

Princess Lieu Hahn, often called the Mother of the Vietnamese people by her followers, is one of the most prominent goddesses in Vietnamese popular religion. First emerging some four centuries ago as a local sect appealing to women, the princess' cult has since transcended its geographical and gender boundaries and remains vibrant today. Who was this revered deity? Was she a virtuous woman or a prostitute? Why did people begin worshiping her and why have they continued? Cult, Culture, and Authority traces Lieu Hahn's cult from its ostensible appearance in the sixteenth century to its present-day prominence in North Vietnam and considers it from a broad range of perspectives, as religion and literature and in the context of politics and society. Over time, Lieu Hahn's personality and cult became the subject of numerous literary accounts, and these historical texts are a major source for this book. Author Olga Dror explores the authorship and historical context of each text considered, treating her subject in an interdisciplinary way. Her interest lies in how these accounts reflect the various political agendas of successive generations of intellectuals and officials. The same cult was called into service for a variety of ideological ends: feminism, nationalism, Buddhism, or Daoism.

Spirits without Borders: Vietnamese Spirit Mediums in a Transnational Age (27/10/2019)

An ethnographic study of the transnational and multicultural expansion of Vietnam’s Mother Goddess Religion and its spirit possession ritual, this book is the product of collaborative research by an American anthropologist and a Vietnamese folklorist. Spirits without Borders explores how and why the ritual spread from Vietnam to the United States and back again, the impact of ritual transnationalism in both countries, and the current spread of the ritual to non-Vietnamese in the US.

Culture, Ritual, and Revolution in Vietnam (26/10/2019)

This is a study of the history and consequences of the revolutionary campaign to transform culture and ritual in northern Vietnam. Based upon official documents and several years of field research in Thinh Liet commune, a Red River delta community near Hanoi, it provides the first detailed account of the nature of revolutionary cultural reform in Vietnam as well as how those reforms continue to animate contemporary socio-cultural life. Beginning with the tumultuous 1954 land reform in Thinh Liet, the study examines the key foci of revolutionary cultural change, such as the articulation of a new moral system, the attempts to eliminate explanations that invoke supernatural causality, the creation of socialist weddings and funerals, and the development of innovative ties to commemorate war dead. From their inception, these reforms were controversial, as they raised powerful questions regarding the proper fulfillment of moral obligations, the ideal constitution of society, the nature of the world and the position and abilities of humans within it. By examining debates over culture, ritual, and morality that have emerged between residents, notably between men and women, and party members and non-party members, the study shows how ideas and values that preceded the revolution have entered into a creative dialogue with those that were articulated by the revolution, and how this has produced an innovative set of ritual and other cultural practices, particularly since the relaxation of the cultural reform agenda in the post-1986 period.

Lost Modernities: China, Vietnam, Korea, and the Hazards of World History (26/10/2019)

Alexander Woodside offers a probing revisionist overview of the bureaucratic politics of preindustrial China, Vietnam, and Korea. He focuses on the political and administrative theory of the three mandarinates and their long experimentation with governments recruited in part through meritocratic civil service examinations remarkable for their transparent procedures. The quest for merit-based bureaucracy stemmed from the idea that good politics could be established through the "development of people"--the training of people to be politically useful. Centuries before civil service examinations emerged in the Western world, these three Asian countries were basing bureaucratic advancement on examinations in addition to patronage. But the evolution of the mandarinates cannot be accommodated by our usual timetables of what is "modern." The history of China, Vietnam, and Korea suggests that the rationalization processes we think of as modern may occur independently of one another and separate from such landmarks as the growth of capitalism or the industrial revolution. A sophisticated examination of Asian political traditions, both their achievements and the associated risks, this book removes modernity from a standard Eurocentric understanding and offers a unique new perspective on the transnational nature of Asian history and on global historical time. (20061201)

Trading in Uncertainty: Entrepreneurship, Morality and Trust in a Vietnamese Textile-Handling Village (26/10/2019)

This book is an ethnographic case study, based on first hand observation, of family businesses in the northern Vietnamese village of Ninh Hiệp along the Red River Delta, which became a major hub for textiles in the wake of the country’s shift towards market socialism. The author explores how the traders experience, negotiate and react to a marketization process that is markedly shaped by the state’s morally ambivalent governance, and which can be thus characterised as an admixture of socialist and neoliberal ideologies.

Popular Music of Vietnam: The Politics of Memory, the Economics of Forgetting (26/10/2019)

Based on the author’s research in Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, and other urban areas in Vietnam, this study of contemporary Vietnamese popular music explores the ways globalization and free market economics have influenced the music and subcultures of Vietnamese youth, focusing on the conflict between the politics of remembering, nurtured by the Vietnamese Communist government, and the politics of forgetting driven by the capitalist interests of the music industry. Vietnamese youth at the end of the second and beginning of the third millennium are influenced by the challenges generated by a number of seemingly opposite ideologies and realities, such as "the past" versus "the present," socialism versus capitalism, and cultural traditionalism versus globalization. Vietnam has undergone a radical demographic shift with a very pronounced youth movement, and consequently, Vietnamese popular culture has been radically reshaped by a young population coming of age in the twenty-first century. As Olsen reveals, the way Vietnamese young people cope with these opposing and contrasting forces is often expressed in their active and passive music making.