This volume explores the social consequences of macro-economic reform introduced in Vietnam more than a quarter of a century ago through a focus on young women graduates who hope to find success in Ho Chi Minh City’s growing graduate labour market. They are part of Vietnam’s new middle class, an educated and affluent segment of society growing with the rapid urbanization of Vietnam’s major cities.
Drawing on a rich person-centred ethnography supplemented with middle-class Vietnamese women’s published autobiographies, it reveals how opportunities for professional work, further education, and leisure lifestyling attract young migrants, particularly female graduates, to Vietnam’s mega-urban Southeast region. Centred on Ho Chi Minh City, it argues that Vietnam’s Southeast enables young women, so long as they remain single, to realize aspirations for betterment that affect not only their own lives, but those of their families and communities who remain in rural Vietnam. It highlights the socio-cultural and material benefits realized through remittances received from urban daughters to emphasize the salience of kinship during periods of social transformation.
The volume concludes with a wide-ranging look at the emergence of middle classes in Pacific Asia in order to locate the Vietnamese new middle class within a globalizing context.
Acknowledgements vii1. Middle classes in post-reform Ho Chi Minh City 12. Urban middle classes in postcolonial Saigon 493. Living in twenty-first century Ho Chi Minh City 874. Lifestyles of professional work 1095. New middle-class leisure culture 1356. Social mobility in a multi-dimensional family 1727. Delaying and desiring marriage 2098. Conclusion 240References 271Index 302
Catherine Earl is a social anthropologist and research assistant at Federation Business School, Federation University, Australia. She is a frequent visitor to Vietnam and she has published on social mobility, social welfare and social change in Vietnam and in Australia.
Source : NIAS Press