Archives par mot-clé : anthropologie culturelle

Kirsten W. Endres, Ann Marie Leshkowich (eds.) : Traders in Motion. Identities and Contestations in the Vietnamese Marketplace

[ndlr] Parution. Présentation de l’éditeur.

Traders in Motion

Identities and Contestations in the Vietnamese Marketplace
Edited by Kirsten W. Endres, Ann Marie Leshkowich

With essays covering diverse topics, from seafood trade across the Vietnam-China border, to street traders in Hanoi, to gold shops in Ho Chi Minh City, Traders in Motion spans the fields of economic and political anthropology, geography, and sociology to illuminate how Vietnam’s rapidly expanding market economy is formed and transformed by everyday interactions among traders, suppliers, customers, family members, neighbors, and officials.

The contributions shed light on the micropolitics of local-level economic agency in the paradoxical context of Vietnam’s socialist orientation and its contemporary neoliberal economic and social transformation. The essays examine how Vietnamese traders and officials engage in on-the-ground contestations to define space, promote or limit mobility, and establish borders, both physical and conceptual. The contributors show how trading experiences shape individuals’ notions of self and personhood, not just as economic actors, but also in terms of gender, region, and ethnicity. Traders in Motion affords rich comparative insight into how markets form and transform and what those changes mean.

Ref. : Endres, Kirsten W., and Ann Marie Leshkowich, eds. Traders in Motion: Identities and Contestations in the Vietnamese Marketplace. Southeast Asia Program Publications, Cornell University Press, 2018.


Introduction: Space, Mobility, Borders, and Trading Frictions

PART I. Space, Place, and Contentious Politics of Market Redevelopment
Introduction: The Spatial Politics of Marketplaces

Chapter 1
Making the Marketplace: Traders, Cadres, and Bureaucratic Documents in Lào Cai City

Chapter 2
“Run and Hide When You See the Police”: Livelihood Diversification and the Politics of the Street Economy in Vietnam’s Northern Uplands

Chapter 3
Grand Designs? State Agendas and the Lived Realities of Market Redevelopment in Upland Northern Vietnam

Chapter 4
Ghost Markets and Moving Bazaars in Hanoi’s Urban Space

PART II. Circuits of Mobility, Identities, and Power Relations
Introduction: Moving and Shaking

Chapter 5
A Mobile Trading Network from Central Coastal Vietnam: Growth, Social Network, and Gender

Chapter 6
Money, Risk Taking, and Playing: Shifting Masculinity in a Waste-Trading Community in the Red River Delta

Chapter 7
“Strive to Make a Living” in the Era of Urbanization and Modernization: The Story of Petty Traders in a Hanoi Peri-urban Community

Chapter 8
Dealing with Uncertainty: Itinerant Street Vendors and Local Officials in Hanoi

PART III. Borderwork
Introduction: Constructing, Maintaining, and Navigating Boundaries

Chapter 9
Regulations and Raids, or the Precarious Place of Gold Shops in Vietnam

Chapter 10
Moralities of Commerce in a Northern Vietnamese Trading Community

Chapter 11
Fuel Trade: People, Places, and Transformations along the Coal Briquetting Chain

Chapter 12
Arbitrage over the Beilun/Kalong River: Chinese Adjustments to Border Trade Practices in Vietnam


Lisa Barthelmes, Christine Bonnin, Gracia Clark, Annuska Derks, Kirsten W. Endres, Chris Gregory, Caroline Grillot, Erik Harms, Esther Horat, Gertrud Hüwelmeier, Ann Marie Leshkowich, Hy Van Luong, Minh T. N. Nguyen, Nguyen Thi Thanh Binh, Linda J. Seligmann, Allison Truitt, Sarah Turner.

Source : Cornell University Press

Paul Sorrentino’s PhD Thesis presented by Oscar Salemink

© 2011 VTC News
© 2011 VTC News

Dr. Paul Sorrentino had successfully defended his thesis “Áp vong: appliquer l’âme. Rituels non-médiumniques de possession par les morts dans le nord du Vietnam” [translated as “Áp vong: To affix the soul. Non-mediumnic rituals of possession by the dead in the north of Vietnam” by the author himself] at the Sorbonne in Paris, last Friday, November 29th.

Although the thesis has a rather “French” length (496 pp.) I found it a great pleasure to read as it contains wonderful ethnographic descriptions of unusually high quality. For instance, I was blown away by the 60-page ethnographic narrative in the Prélude about a search through possession for the grave of a person called Ông Trượng. The reporting is detailed, lively, precise, and the researcher appears very perceptive of what was said or unsaid, which lexicological register was used; what was done or not done; who looked where or did not look. It was only the first example of compelling ethnography in the thesis that I found highly emotive, having some experience with the importance that many Vietnamese people attach to honoring their dead ancestors or relatives – including those who died in the wars and whose graves are unknown. Sorrentino also dissects and interprets the various meanings of specific words from different registers (everyday Vietnamese, sino-Vietnamese, political vocabulary, Buddhist terms, etc.) in an expert manner.

Áp vong appears to be a relatively recent phenomenon, which might be somewhat comparable to lên đồng [spirit possession linked up with Mother Goddess worship] or gọi hồn [soul calling]. In those two forms of spirit possession, ritual specialists are possessed by deities (lên đồng) or souls of dead people (gọi hồn). There is an abundant literature in various languages (Vietnamese, English, French) about lên đồng, and an emerging literature about gọi hồn (e.g. Heonik Kwon, Mai Lan Gustafsson, Kirsten Endres, Phan Đăng Nhật and myself), but áp vong – a neologism in Vietnamese – has to my knowledge not yet been the object of systematic study. The main difference with the other forms of possession is that with áp vong, the persons to be possessed are not ritual experts themselves (although experts do play a role in guiding the ritual) but relatives or descendants of the dead persons – hence lay people themselves.

The author devotes a chapter to the question how it is possible that this practice emerged and spread so quickly – mostly after 2000 – and offers a detailed picture of the various persons and institutions involved in that process. The possession rituals tend to be only minimally ritualized, and the practice is now being promoted and practiced in “scientific” institutions that claim expertise in extra-sensorial [ngoại cảm] forms of knowing and sensing, and that uses a mix of scientistic and Buddhist discourses. Interestingly, instead of being dismissed as superstition [mê tín dị đoan] some of the institutions enjoy support from the highest echelons of the Party.

Sorrentino uses a constructivist theoretical framework that offers a vocabulary to interpret how the various protagonists (relatives, ritual experts) arrive at a common interpretation of the possession event in situations of utter uncertainty and oftentimes confusion. That (theoretical) framework might evolve further in the future as the practice itself evolves and – perhaps – routinizes and ritualizes. However, the great merit of this thesis is that it offers amazingly insightful – sometimes very intimate – ethnographies of the practice at a stage of formation, and as such it will be of great use to other scholars who may wish to study this phenomenon in the future. The thesis received the highest distinction from the examiners.

I can only hope that Sorrentino’s work will soon become publicly available – not only in French, but also in Vietnamese and English.

Oscar Salemink, Professor in the Anthropology of Asia, 02/12/2013.

Paul Sorrentino : Áp vong / appliquer l’âme. Rituels non-médiumniques de possession par les morts dans le nord du Vietnam [thèse]

2011 VTC News
© 2011 VTC News

Paul Sorrentino, doctorant au Canthel, a soutenu sa thèse intitulée :

Áp vong : appliquer l’âme. Rituels non-médiumniques de possession par les morts dans le nord du Vietnam”, le vendredi 29 novembre à 14h, à la Sorbonne

Jury composé de Richard Pottier (Université Paris Descartes, directeur de la thèse), Bénédicte Brac de la Perrière (CNRS), Oscar Salemink (Université de Copenhague), Anne de Sales (CNRS) et Gilles Tarabout (CNRS).

* * *

Résumé de la thèse :

Dans cette thèse, j’interroge le développement rapide, au Vietnam et dans les années 2000, d’une forme nouvelle de rituel de possession par les morts, appelée áp vong (littéralement : appliquer/apposer l’âme). L’une des particularités de ces séances est que les défunts n’y sont pas incarnés par le spécialiste rituel, qui ne joue qu’un rôle d’encadrement, mais par un client, par l’intermédiaire duquel les autres membres de la famille pourront interroger leurs morts. Après un exposé du contexte d’idées et de pratiques dans lequel ces rituels sont apparus (représentations liées à la personne, conceptions sotériologiques, autres pratiques de possession), je tente de comprendre la place qu’ils prennent dans la société vietnamienne, marquée par une transformation profonde de la relation entre les vivants et les morts liée au traumatisme de la guerre.

Cela m’amène à analyser les aspects politiques de cette innovation rituelle : en effet, la popularisation fulgurante des séances de áp vong a eu pour théâtre des « centres de recherche » créés par des intellectuels vietnamiens se posant en promoteurs de ces pratiques face à un pouvoir central pris entre sa volonté d’éradiquer les « superstitions » et son devoir de prendre en charge la mémoire des victimes de la guerre.

Enfin, pour tenter de comprendre ces rituels, où ceux qui incarnent les morts ne sont ni des médiums, ni des victimes de l’affliction causée par un défunt, et où la possession est constamment en train de se faire et de se défaire (j’accorde une place importante aux séances qui ne « fonctionnent » pas ou mal), j’adopte une approche constructiviste visant à lire la possession autour du possédé plutôt qu’en lui. De là, je propose de considérer la possession comme une épreuve, au sens que la sociologie pragmatique a donné à ce terme : une qualification négociée de la réalité, portant dans ce cas sur l’attribution d’une agentivité (celle d’un défunt) à un corps (celui du possédé).

Source : Canthel EA 4545