The first fully-fledged ethnography on health-related issues to come out of contemporary Vietnam, Women's Bodies, Women's Worries is a study of women's lives in a rural commune in Vietnam's Red River delta. Starting as an examination of the impact of Vietnam's ambitious family planning policy on the health and lives of rural women, the study explores historical and contemporary socio-cultural forces which influence the lives of Vietnamese women. What begins as an investigation of contraceptive side effects becomes an inquiry into the daily lives of rural women, an examination of the moral ideologies by which women's lives are circumscribed, and an exploration of the ways women themselves manage and negotiate the moral demands and social relations which constitute daily lives. In addition, the book provides a sympathetic account of the everyday lives and concerns of rural women while also including theoretical considerations of the social grounding of bodily experience, the cultural meanings of health and illness, and the everyday politics of emotional expression.
'in her deft handling of important issues of gender, economic life, state power and discourse, Gammeltoft covers extensive territory of interest to the anthropology of China and Southeast Asia in general.' - Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute