Like most societies Vietnam has seen marked changes in family structures and dynamics this century. For Vietnam however these changes have been especially radical. After decades of French acculturation the 1940s brought sweeping economic changes and a move away from collectivism. Perhaps because of Vietnam’s long isolation from the late 1970s into the early 1990s, very little has been written on the Vietnamese family.
This text provides an examination of the Vietnamese family focusing on two fundamental relationships – husband-wife and parent-children – within their wider social and historical context. The author explores how and why marital partners are chosen; individual’s domains within the family; reproduction and birth control; son preference; ancestor worship; and the role of the state.
As such, the study will be of interest not just to sociologists but also to those scholars looking to understand the current social transformation of Vietnam.
Pham Van Bich completed hid doctoral dissertation at Gothenburg University, and is presently working in Hanoi.