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About this product
- DescriptionMy husband doesn't have a head for business, complained Ng?c, the owner of a children's clothing stall in B?n Thanh market. Naturally, it's because he's a man. When the women who sell in Ho Chi Minh City's iconic marketplace speak, their language suggests that activity in the market is shaped by timeless, essential truths: Vietnamese women are naturally adept at buying and selling, while men are t; Vietnamese prefer to do business with family members or through social contacts; stallholders are by nature superstitious; marketplace trading is by definition a small-scale enterprise. Essential Trade looks through the facade of these timeless truths and finds active participants in a political ecomy of appearances: traders' words and actions conform to stereotypes of themselves as poor, weak women in order to clinch sales, manage creditors, and protect themselves from accusations of being greedy, corrupt, or bourgeois - even as they quietly slip into southern Vietnam's growing middle class. But Leshkowich argues that we should t dismiss the traders' self-disparaging words simply because of their essentialist logic. In B?n Thanh market, performing certain styles of femininity, kinship relations, social networks, spirituality, and class allowed traders to portray themselves as particular kinds of people who had the capacity to act in volatile political and ecomic circumstances. When so much seems to be changing, a claim that certain things or people are inherently or naturally a particular way can be both personally meaningful and strategically advantageous. Based on ethgraphic fieldwork and life history interviewing conducted over nearly two decades, Essential Trade explores how women cloth and clothing traders like Ng?c have plied their wares through four decades of political and ecomic transformation: civil war, post-war ecomic restructuring, socialist cooperativization, and the frenetic competition of market socialism. With close attention to daily activities and life narratives, this ground-breaking work of critical feminist ecomic anthropology combines theoretical insight, vivid ethgraphy, and moving personal stories to illuminate how the interaction between gender and class has shaped people's lives and created market socialist political ecomy. It provides a compelling account of post-war southern Vietnam as seen through the eyes of the dynamic women who have navigated forty years of profound change while building their businesses in the stalls of B?n Thanh market.
- Author BiographyAnn Marie Leshkowich is associate professor of anthropology at College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, USA.
- Author(s)Ann Marie Leshkowich
- PublisherUniversity of Hawai'i Press
- Date of Publication30/08/2014
- SubjectSociology & Anthropology: Professional
- Series TitleSoutheast Asia: Politics, Meaning and Memory
- Place of PublicationHonolulu, HI
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintUniversity of Hawai'i Press
- Content Noteblack & white illustrations
- Weight499 g
- Width152 mm
- Height229 mm
- Spine16 mm
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