Facing the Future, Reviving the Past: A Study of Social Change in a Northern Vietnamese Village
"Kleinen has produced a valuable and richly detailed contribution to the new fieldwork-based research on Vietnamese (village) society, as well as an important reopening up of the question of the complex relations between village and state" (Tai Culture). "Facing the Future, Reviving the Past is a book combining solid fieldwork with intriguing analytical insights that substantially enriches the social anthropological literature on Vietnam (International Quarterly for Asian Studies).
About the publication
A Study of Social Change in a Northern Vietnamese Village is based on anthropological fieldwork between 1992 and 1996 in a small Red River delta village. It treats the history of the village since its foundation in the mid-seventeenth century, based on existing French and Vietnamese archival materials. At the same time, the book discusses the essentialist character of the Vietnamese village community. Special interest is devoted to internal politics within the village which enable powerful lineages and groups to (re)gain political and social power within the village. The recent revival of religious activities as a result of the renovation policy is taken into consideration. Since Vietnamese society is changing at a very fast pace, a longitudinal study of this nature provides the reader with a firsthand account of the interplay between the reform under a Marxist regime and local village society.