The Lao discusses culture and village life in Laos, exploring topics of kinship and family, gender relations, households, religion, livelihood strategies, and ethnicity. In particular, the effects of recent development projects on the relative power of men and women in rural Lao society, and the responses of women to those changes, are highlighted. Ireson-Doolittle and Moreno-Black not only provide a description of life on the ground but also explore how local affairs are connected to the wider world, and how the Lao people preserve traditions while also responding to change.
Table of Contents
Tables and Figures, Series Editor Preface, Acknowledgments, Introduction: Women, Livelihood, and Social Change, THE PERSISTENT QUESTIONS, How WE KNOW WHAT WE KNOW: FIELDWORK IN LAOS, THE REST OF THE BOOK, Laos: Historical Contexts, LAOS: RECENT HISTORY AND NATIONAL CONTEXT, PATTERNED GENDER INEQUALITIES AND LAO WOMEN, GENDER, SOCIALISM, AND SOCIAL CHANGE, EQUALITY AND NATIONAL POLICIES, 1975-1995, CONCLUSION, Laos: Village Contexts, THE RURAL HOUSEHOLD AND HOUSEHOLD ECONOMY, VILLAGE UNITY, VILLAGE LIFE DURING THE WAR YEARS, VILLAGE DEVELOPMENT, CONCLUSION, Family, Home, Children, and Change, FAMILY AND KIN RELATIONS, GIVING BIRTH AND RAISING CHILDREN, SOCIALISM AND EARLY ECONOMIC LIBERALIZATION: EFFECTS ON FAMILY LIFE, CONCLUSION, Making a Living from the Land: Economics, Gender, and Power, THE AGRICULTURAL CYCLE: CELEBRATION AND CULTIVATION, CHANGING AGRICULTURAL ACTIVITIES: SOCIALIST REORGANIZATION (1975-1988), CHANGING AGRICULTURAL ACTIVITIES: EARLY ECONOMIC LIBERALIZATION (1988-1995), CONCLUSION, Making a Living in Commerce: Textiles, TEXTILE PRODUCTION, TEXTILE BUSINESSES, CONCLUSION, Gender, Ethnicity, and Development in Luang Prabang THREE STORIES:THE WOMEN AND THEIR VILLAGES, THE LUANG PRABANG WOMEN'S DEVELOPMENT PROJECT, CONCLUSION, Women and Social Change Among the Lao, HISTORICAL FACTORS, SOCIAL CHANGE, GLOBAL-LOCAL LINKAGES, SENSE OF AGENCY, Glossary, References, Index
CAROL J. IRESON-DOOLITTLE is Professor of Sociology at Willamette University and the author of Field, Forest, and Family: Women's Work and Tower in Rural Laos (Westview 1996). Her research and teaching interests focus on gender, development and globalization, and Asia. She first worked in Laos as a volunteer in the late 1960s, and has lived and worked in Laos as a development worker and researcher numerous times since then. GERALDINE MORENO-BLACK is a nutritional anthropologist in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Oregon. Her research interests focus on gender and issues of food security, nutritional status, and health. She has worked for more than 15 years in Thailand doing research in the Thai-Lao region of the Northeast (Isan) and more recently with industrial workers in the industrial area southeast of Bangkok. She and Ireson-Doolittle have begun a study of women-owned textile businesses located in Vientiane, Laos, and selling in international markets.