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Presentation on Feedbacks of Australian National University Conference on Ethnic Minorities in Vietnam and current concerns of reseachers on EM issues, presented by Dr. Nguyen Van Chinh from College ...

Presentation on Feedbacks of Australian National University Conference on Ethnic Minorities in Vietnam and current concerns of reseachers on EM issues, presented by Dr. Nguyen Van Chinh from College of Social Sciences and Humanities, Vietnam National University at the meeting on 24 April 2007

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Presentation on Vietnam EM Update 2006 and recent trends of research on ethnic minorities in Vietnam Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Vietnam Update 2006, and recent trends of research on ethnic minorities in Vietnam Nguyen Van Chinh Hanoi National University
  • 2. 1. Brief on the Research School of Pacific and Asia Studies at ANU
    • RSPAS is a centre for research and postgraduate training on the Asia Pacific region.
    • Priority areas for the School's research are Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia and the Southwest Pacific. Research is focused on anthropology , archaeology , economics , gender relations , history , human geography , international relations , linguistics , political science , regulatory institutions resource management and strategic and defence studies .
    • With more than 100 academic staff, the School represents one of the largest concentrations of expertise on the Asia-Pacific region in the world.
    • The School has an enrolment of over 265 PhD students and 250 Masters students, with students representing about 90 different nationalities.
    • The Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies is located at the centre of the ANU campus in Australia's national capital, Canberra.
  • 3. 2. What is Vietnam Update
    • The Vietnam Update is a series of annual conferences that focus on recent economic, political and social conditions in Vietnam and provide in-depth analysis into a select theme of particular relevance to Vietnam's socio-economic development. The main objective of the Vietnam Update is to inform government agencies, academics, policy makers, the corporate sector, NGOs, journalists and other key sectors about this strategically important country.
    • People attending the conference come from diverse backgrounds: diplomats, development assistance specialists, journalists, lawyers, government officials, business people, clergy, academics, and students. Each year the conference includes presentations on political and economic developments over the last year as well as papers that address the conference theme. Previous years' Vietnam Update themes have addressed Vietnam's renovation policies, state/society relations, civil society, rural development, foreign investment, urbanization, the media, development organizations, local governance, international relations and social inequality. In 2006 the theme is 'new approaches to ethnic minorities in Vietnam'. The first Vietnam Update was organized in 1990 by ANU researchers and was held at the Australian National University. In recent years the conference series has been organized in conjunction with researchers from the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies in Singapore.
  • 4. Professor Ben Kerkvliet, Department of Political and Social Change [email_address]
    • He earned degrees at Whitman College (Walla Walla, Washington) and the University of Wisconsin (Madison), then taught for nearly twenty years at the University of Hawai'i (Honolulu) before joining the ANU in 1992.
    • His research interests are comparative politics
    • Key Publications
    • The Huk Rebellion: Study of Peasant Revolt in the Philippines , University of California Press, 1977 and (new edition) Rowman & Littlefield, 2002.
    • Everyday Politics in the Philippines , University of California Press, 1990 and (new edition) Rowman & Littlefield, 2002.
    • Land Struggles and Land Regimes in the Philippines and Vietnam during the 20th Century , CASA, Amsterdam, 1997.
    • The Power of Everyday Politics: How Vietnamese Peasants Transformed National Policy, Cornell University Press, 2005.
  • 5. Emeritus Professor David G. Marr, Division of Pacific and Asian History Email: [email_address]
    • Research Interests:
    • 20th century history of Vietnam; comparative revolutions in Asia
    • Key Publications
    • Vietnamese Anti-colonialism, 1885-1925, UC Press, 1971.
    • Vietnamese Tradition on Trial, 1920-1945, UC Press, 1981.
    • Vietnam. World Bibliographical Series, vol.147, Clio Press, 1992.
    • Vietnam 1945: The Quest for Power, UC Press, 1995.
    • Career Highlights
    • Researcher at RSPAS since 1975. Former editor of Vietnam Today; Former co-director of Indochina Resource Centre (Washington and Berkeley); Former assistant professor at Cornell University and University of California; Former captain, US Marine Corps.
  • 6. 3. Vietnam Update 2006 addressing the topic of ethnic minorities in Vietnam
    • It sought to make a significant empirical and conceptual contribution to understanding minority ethnicities in Vietnam
    • Aims are to provide a forum for a critical engagement, informed, richly illustrated, and critical contribution that have the potential to change previous knowledge about ethnic minorities in Vietnam which were built on untested assumptions, a lack of solid research, and insufficient attention to the voices of ethnic minority people
  • 7. Brief Report on the 2006 Update
    • The 2006 Vietnam Update had eleven presentations, four of them by Vietnamese scholars: Phan Ngọc Chiến, Nguyễn Văn Chính, Dương Bích Hạnh, Phạm Lan Hương. Other presentations from Dr Li Tana, Drs Jean Michaud and Sarah Turner, Dr. Oscar Salemink, Dr Philip Taylor, and Drs Stan B-H Tan and Andrew Walker.
    • Seventy-one people attended the Update. The participants came from many parts of Australia as well as from Canada, Japan, The Netherlands, Singapore, South Africa, and Vietnam. Most participants were development specialists, public servants, diplomats, and university students and faculty members.
    • The Update program had six sessions, opening with Dr David Koh on political developments, focusing on the Tenth Congress of Vietnam's Communist Party, following by Dr Huong on the country's national economy. Sessions two through five had the nine presentations on the Update theme. The last session provided a summary. Each session included opportunities for people in the audience to ask questions and contribute comments.
    • The organization committee for this year's Update included staff of both the ANU and ISEAS. Consequently, all presentations on the Update theme have a good chance of becoming, once revisions are made, chapters for a substantial book.
  • 8. 3. Vietnam update 2006: a list of presentations
    • David Koh (Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore) Politics of the Party Congress in 2006 Pham Lan Huong, Central Institute for Economic Management Vietnam's Economic Development and Challenges in 2005 and the First Three Quarters of 2006 Duong Bich Hanh (University of Washington) Local Places, Global Trajectories: New Lives of the Hmong Girls of Sa Pa Jean Michaud and Sarah Turner (University of Montreal, McGill University, Canada) Imaginative, Adapted, and Transnational Economic Strategies for Marginal Actors in a Centralised State: Livelihoods and Commodity Flows Among The Hmong in Lào Cai Province, Northern Vietnam Li Tana (Australian National University) Ethnic Chinese Business Dominance in Historical Perspective Nguyen Van Chinh (College of Social Sciences & Humanities, Hanoi) Sedentarization , Adaptation, and Marginalization: A Study of State Intervention and Socio-Economic Change among the Kmhmu of Vietnam Pamela McElwee (Arizona State University) 'Blood Relatives' or Uneasy Neighbors?: Kinh - Ethnic Minority Interactions in the Annamite Mountains Stan Tan and Andrew Walker (National University of Singapore, Australian National University) Beyond Hills and Plains: Rethinking Ethnic Relations in Vietnam and Thailand Philip Taylor (Australian National University) 'There are no Khmer in the Market': Mapping Ethnic Differentiation in the Mekong Delta Phan Ngoc Chien (Institute of Social Sciences, Ho Chi Minh City) Theory and Practice of Ethnic Identification in Vietnam Oscar Salemink (Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam) Embodying the Nation: Mediumship , Ritual, and the National Imagination
  • 9. 4. Political updates: Politics of the Party Congress in 2006 by David Koh (ISEAS, Singapore)
    • It’s important to understand the 10 th Party Congress because: a) PC is a Holy Grail for any scholar of Vietnamese politics; b) It adds to our understanding of how political system works
    • Report on leadership changes & tussle for positions right up to the Congress and dynamics of election to the Central Committee, Political Bureau and the General Secretary.
    • Ideological tussles began more than a year before the tussles for leadership
    • Impacts that new leadership might have on political system and wider society including its economy, and on the Party
  • 10. 5. Economic updates Vietnam’s economic development and challenges in 2005 and the first three quarters of 2006 by Pham Lan Huong (CIEM, Vietnam)
    • Key inter-related factors contributing VN’s relatively
    • high economic growth rate in 2005 and early 2006:
    • high economic growth rate of the world economy;
    • significant improvement of business & investment environment;
    • Acceleration of structural reforms
    • Promotion and attraction of FDI inflows, & ODA
    • Weaknesses & shortcomings continued to emerge:
    • inadequate quality of the growth, inefficiency of state
    • investment and public expenditure, corruption. etc
  • 11. 5. Economic updates (continued) Poverty incidence by ethnicity in 2004 (%)
  • 12. 5. Economic updates (continued) Poverty gap by ethnicity in 2004 (%)
  • 13. 5. Economic updates (continued) Real per capita expenditure by ethnicity in 2004 (thousand VND/year)
  • 14. 6. Phan Ngoc Chien: “Theory and practice of ethnic identification in Vietnam”
    • Focus on the three criteria of ethic identification set up by Hanoi Institute of Ethnology: a) common language; b) common cultural characteristics”; c) shared ethnic self-awareness”
    • This guiding principle for ethnic identification is formulated for contextual practicality, not based on the paramount theory in Vietnamese ethnography
    • It may lead to a superficial ethnic classification
    • Should the “common descent” be included for ethnic classification
  • 15. 6. (continued ) Mr. Phan Ngoc Chien, M.A researcher at ISSH in HCM City
    • Received M.A degree in 1993, UW in Seattle
    • Thesis: "Ethnic Identification of the Montagnards in the Central Highlands of Vietnam"
    • Recent interests: Ethnicity and ethnic boundaries
    • Main Publication: The Ko-ho in Lam Dong
    • Translation of various foreign works on anthropology into Vietnamese.
  • 16. 7. Oscar Salemink “ Embodying the nation: Mediumship, Ritual, and the National Imagination”
    • The paper detects the signal of a shift of tactics of VN ethnic policies.
    • Before Doi Moi, guiding minority policies & development policies in highlands are based on a neo-Confucian metaphor, an imagined community of the nation as a family of older (Viet) & younger (minorities) siblings in which the older takes the lead (policies of sedentarization, selective preservation of culture, etc.) .
    • Post Doi Moi, the practice of spirit mediumship increases, feeds into national stature like Hung King festival and festival Hue. In its rituals of Len Dong , a prominent place is reserved for deities and practices that refer to ethnic groups. Cultural difference was now:
      • Imagined as integral to the nation
      • Spatialized (remote areas, wild lands)
      • Temporalized (former inhabitants & their deities to be respected).
      • This creates a new space for ethnic minorities, not as “younger siblings” but as
      • contemporary ancestors, associated with the past, nature & spirit world who need to be
      • Placated and domesticated through ritual practice.
    • Diverse and often contrasting ritual ways in which the boundaries of the ethnic group are imagined produces anxiety over the “otherness” of ethnic minorities which must be domesticated, through both ritually and political practice.
  • 17. Dr. Oscar Salemink, Professor in Social and Cultural Anthropology at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam E-mail: ojhm.salemink@fsw.vu.nl
    • Received his doctoral degree from the UvA with a dissertation on the highland minorities of Vietnam
    • Current research concerns the politics and dynamics of religious revival in SEA, and connections linking religion, civil society, natural resource management and development interventions.
    • From 1996 through 2001: Program Officer for FF in Hanoi
    • Major publications:
    • - Ethnography of Vietnam's Central Highlanders: A Historical Contextualization, 1850-1990. London: RoutledgeCurzon / Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 2003. - “Customary Law, Land Rights and Internal Migration”, Vietnam Social Sciences 2(76), 2000: 65-79.
    • - “Sedentarization and Selective Preservation among the Montagnards in the Vietnamese Central Highlands”, In: Jean Michaud (ed.), Turbulent Times and Enduring People: Mountain Minorities in the South-East Asian Massif. Richmond, Surrey: Curzon Press, 2000; pp. 125-148.
  • 18. 8. Pamela McElwee, Arizona State University “Blood Relatives” or Uneasy Neighbors?: Kinh – Ethnic Interactions in the Annamite Mountains”
    • Paper explores the ethnic relations among the Kinh & EM including Pahy, Pakoh, Ka Tu, Bru & Van Kieu in central Vietnam
    • Based on ethnography of interactions among these groups, Pamela suggests that not like the imagined “blood relatives” or anh em who mutually supports & helps, Kinh & ethnic minority interactions are often fraught with social and economic difference. 60 years of solidarity policy has not erased these ethnic differences but otherwise, may have sharpened them
    • Unequal access of Kinh and minorities to markets, government services and political representation
    • Environmental impacts of migrants versus minorities, as minorities are accused of being ‘forest destroyers’ while Kinh migrant impacts are less often noted.
  • 19. Dr. Pamela McElwee, Arizona State University E-mail: pamela.mcelwee@asu.edu
    • Ph.D. Yale University, 2003. Previously, worked at the US Senate for Al Gore, and in the Clinton White House on environmental policy. More recently, work with numerous NGOs for sustainable development in SEA on such issues as mangrove reforestation, watershed management on the Mekong, and non-wood forest products use.
    • Research Interests:
    • - The globalization and internationalization of environmental problems, particularly in the fields of biodiversity conservation, environmental governance, and environmental security.
    • - Migration, environmental change, and environmental security.
    • Publications : The Relationship between 'Illegal' Logging and Poverty, Land Tenure, and Forest Use Rights in Vietnam." Journal of Sustainable Forestry, vol. 19 (1/2/3; "Eliminating Feudalism, Developing Socialism: Government Policies for Ethnic Minorities in the Socialist Republic of Vietnam" in Civilizing the Margins: Southeast Asian Government Policies for Minorities. C. Duncan, ed. Ithaca: Cornell University Press; "Policies of prejudice: Ethnicity and shifting cultivation in Vietnam." Watershed 5(1): 30-38.
  • 20. 9. Stan B-H Tan (NUS) & Andrew Walker (ANU) “ Beyond Hills and Plains: Rethinking Ethnic Relations in Vietnam and Thailand”
    • In contrast with previous papers, these two authors explore an alternative approach to ethnic relations in VN & TL. In their view, relations between highlanders, migrant settlers, and state are often seen as potential of conflictual ethnic relations, “paradise lost”, indigenous cultural identities endangered, etc. need to be revisited.
    • Such a way look at ethnic relations, lowlands and uplands is very much shaped by a diffusion paradigm. Any change induced from outside is seen as an assault on integrity of these peoples.
    • Presentation proposes an alternative way:
    • - Viewing uplands as “middle ground” of negotiation & compromise in which notions of identity are better perceived through a relational approach
    • - Viewing state formation in the uplands not as a process of inevitable diffusion from a pre-existing centre but as a process of localized genesis in which the state form is reshaped as it asserts its claims on frontier
    • “ Dinh Dien” in Central Highlands during the 60s is used as case study
  • 21. Dr. Andrew Walker, Fellow, Resource Management in Asia-Pacific Program Email: andrew.walker@anu.edu.au
    • Research Interests
    • Mainland Southeast Asia (especially Thailand and Laos); land and water management; agricultural transformation; applied anthropology; social impact assessment; trading and transport systems; regulation; globalisation.
    • Key Publications
    • - The Legend of the Golden Boat: Regulation, Trade and Traders in the Borderlands of Laos, Thailand, Burma and China , Curzon Press, 1999.
    • - 'Women, space and history: long distance traders in northwestern Laos', in Grant Evans (ed.), Laos: Culture and Society , Silkworm Books, Chaing Mai, 1999.
    • Career Highlights: Research on trading systems in northern Laos; development of integrated water resource management framework in northern Thailand; co-convenor of Masters in Applied Anthropology and Participatory Development ; partner in Thai- Yunnan Project .
  • 22. Dr. Stan Tan Boon Hwee Southeast Asian Studies Program, NUS E-Mail: seatanbh@nus.edu.sg
    • Ph.D., Australian National University, 2006
    • Biography:  Began researching on Vietnam in 1997 in the Mekong Delta region, then gone up the hills in the Central Highlands of Vietnam to study about coffee production, frontier and state formations.
    • Teaching Areas:  Agrarian Societies in Southeast Asia with special focus on Vietnam Frontier and Upland-Lowland Relations in Mainland Southeast Asia
    • Publications: Stan B-H Tan, ‘Coffee Frontiers in the Central Highlands of Vietnam: Networks of Connectivity’, Asia Pacific Viewpoint 41 (1), pp 51-67, 2000. - Andrew Hardy, Mathieu Guerin, Nguyen Van Chinh and Stan B-H Tan, Des Montagnards aux Minorites ethniques: Quelle integration nationale pour les inhabitants des hautes terres du Vietnam et du Cambodge? , Paris-Bangkok: L’Harmattan/IRASEC, 2003.
  • 23. 10. Jean Michaud & Sarah Turner (Laval & McGill University), “Imaginative, adapted, and transnational economic strategies for marginal actors in a centralized state: Livelihoods and commodity flows among the Hmong in Lao Cai province”
    • The main questions raised for discussions are: How are the Hmong’s customary exchange networks developed, expanded, and made profitable in the context of an expanding market economy? How does this expansion open opportunities for them and influence their general behavior and livelihoods?
    • The study focus on livelihood analysis, directed to assets and activities through ‘ethnic’ textile trade networks, complex array of social interactions, local systems of regulation, customs and culture that influence and shape the exchanges occurring among the Hmong, and between them and other actors.
    • The research findings suggest that Hmong are members of transnational ethnicities for whom kinship links are more important than citizenship, and for whom their distinct identity core is valid as the national standard
  • 24. Dr. Jean Michaud , Laval University, Quebec, Canada ( [email_address] )
    • Jean Michaud is a social anthropologist on issues of social change among highland populations of Asia.
    • Doctoral dissertation at Université de Montréal (1995) on social change and tourism in a Hmong village of Chiang Mai.
    • Research interests: Cultural/economic adaptation of minority/indigenous populations in response to national and international pressures linked to globalization with a focus on the highlands of Vietnam and Laos.
    • Current research : 'Incidental' Ethnographers. Catholic Missions in Upper Tonkin (Vietnam) , 1880-1930, to appear in 2007 (Brill Academic Publishers).
    • Books: 2006, Historical Dictionary of the Peoples of the Southeast Asian Massif. Lanham (MD): Scarecrow Press.
    • 2000 (ed.) Turbulent Times and Enduring Peoples. The Mountain Minorities of the South-East Asian Massif. London (UK): Curzon Press, 255p.
  • 25. 11. Duong Bich Hanh (Population Council, USA) “Local places, global trajectories: New lives of the Hmong girls of Sa-pa”
    • The paper examines the impacts of tourism on the changing patterns of ethnic culture, based on observation of a group of Hmong girls who left their village to come to Sa Pa town where contact between indigenous people and domestic and international tourists is becoming ever more frequent and complex to sell handicrafts and work as tour guides.
    • Journey to Sa Pa town enabled Hmong girls to contest, negotiate and redefine their identities and subjectivities in relations to their traditional village and the Kinh society.
    • Findings indicate:
    • 1) attitude and life style among the Hmong girls working in Sapa have been rapidly on change;
    • 2) their income from new work and their transnational connection maintained through emails and phone calls refute the Kinh stereotypes of them as backward and low intellectual level. The Kinh (tourists and local residents) have come to regard the Hmong with new respect.
  • 26. Dr. Duong Bich Hanh, Research fellow at the Population Council, Hanoi
    • Received PhD from the UW in Seattle.
    • Research on the impacts of tourism on local communities, especially young women from the Hmong ethnic minority group
    • Recently, research fellow at the Population Council in Hanoi. Her research interests focus on ethnicity, health care, & poverty reduction among EM. She introduced the anthropology of photo voice to VN
    • Formerly worked with Action Aid, Craft Link, and Museum of Ethnology, Hanh also serves as a national consultant in development with a number of organizations such as WB, ADB, DFID, UN-related agencies and various NGOs.
  • 27. 12. Nguyen Van Chinh, VNU Hanoi “From swidden cultivation to fixed farming and settlement: Effects of sedentarization scheme among the Kmhmu in Vietnam”
    • Why is sedentarization considered important for development in the mountain regions of Vietnam?
    • What are the policies and how they are applied in the Kmhmu case?
    • How do the Kmhmu’s respond ?
    • What are the impacts of sedentarization schemes on the Kmhmu’s life?
  • 28. 12. Nguyen Van Chinh, ( continued)
    • Fixed settlements were created but does not seem to sustain.
    • Only about 10% of farming area cultivated by the Kmhmu is wet-rice land with a very humble productivity.
    • Kmhmu are still living on shifting cultivation in the slop swidden but fallow period is shorten, and soil became exhausted quicker than before
    • Poverty is not abolished (76% of household living under the poverty line) while the forest is continued to be destroyed for pressure of starving
    • Thai-ization’s and popularization of material culture
    • Spiritual culture is fading away: ancestor worshiping, dance house, new year celebration, folk songs
    • Education: lag behind with 67% illiterate
    • Mother language lost its credit
  • 29. What are the causes of the Kmhmu’s poverty? (As viewed by Nguyen Thi Thieng (2002:31) & Hoang Xuan Luong (2004:20-29)
    • Lack of production resources and capital
    • Methods of farming are backward
    • Suffering from natural disasters and pests
    • Disadvantages by living isolated in remote areas
    • Unbalance between earnings and expenditures: Expenditures are always 70% higher than incomes
    • No extra sources of incomes but growing rice on slope with low yield
    • Low education
    • High rate of fertility
    • Depending on the state’s subsidies
  • 30. Nguyen van Chinh (continued) What are the causes of the Kmhmu’s poverty?
    • The Kmhmu’s poverty can be rooted deeply in historical and social causes
    • “ Khmu is the people of forest” means their knowledge system is accumulated to deal with forest and swidden farming.
    • Imposed changes of economic system and way of life made their knowledge wasted while they are not ready to adapt with new system.
    • A history of submissive and dependence to the Thai
    • State’s development programs are mainly top down, less based on the real participation of local people
  • 31. Nguyen Van Chinh (continued) Why sedentarization scheme failed to achieve its goals?
    • Swidden cultivation as a way of life or culture was broken
    • Certain state schemes, including sedentarization and planned settlement aim to improve the human conditions. These plans have rarely gone as anticipated
    • Wet-rice land requires sizable investments of labour and capital but easily being destroyed by forest rains and flood.
    • Wet-rice cultivation requires highly intensive farming techniques but all are alien to the Kmhmu while their rich knowledge of farming on slope was put aside.
    • Rice from wet rice land is not favoured by the Kmhmu who love their own sticky rice grown on sloping land; wet rice is seen as being polluted, not use for ritual ceremonies
    • Never before the Kmhmu experienced with working in mud-flooded land and fertilizer, which they feel like being tortured.
  • 32. Nguyen Van Chinh (continued)
    • Facing the severe poverty and under-development, the Kmhmu is likely falling again into dependence on the neighboring majority ethnic groups such as Thai and Kinh, and governmental subsidies
    • Before they were named Kha, Xa, Cuong, Nhoc (domestic servants). Now, they are labeled as “backward”, “primitive”, “lazy”, “ignorant’, etc.
    • Kmhmu’s culture and identity is fading away, materially and spiritually.
    • Sedentarization that aims to provide the Kmhmu with prosperity but failed to achieve. The Kmhmu is no longer live in their traditional way of life and knowledge, but the future is uncertain to predict.
  • 33. Dr. Nguyen Van Chinh cultural anthropology, VNU Hanoi E-mail: vanchinh1026@vnn.vn
    • Doctorate received from the UvA, the Netherlands
    • Research interests: Child labor, education, migration and ethnic minorities. Current research interests lie in poverty reduction with focus on the disadvantaged/marginalized groups.
    • Serving as a local consultant for development & UN-related agencies, and various NGOs.
    • Selected publications:
    • - 2006 (co-editor) Mekong arranged and rearranged. Chiang Mai: Mekong Press.
    • - 2003 (co-author) Des Montagnards aux Minorites ethniques: Quelle integration nationale pour les inhabitants des hautes terres du Vietnam et du Cambodge? , Paris-Bangkok: L’Harmattan/IRASEC.
    • - 1997 Migration & children’s work in rural Vietnam. Political and Social Change, Canberra: ANU.
  • 34. 13. Philip Taylor “There are no Khmer in the market: Mapping ethnic differentiation in the Mekong Delta”
    • Paper examines occupational, geographical and class distinctions in the delta though the lens of ethnicity
    • A shared view among three largest groups:
    • - Khmer are poor, remote rural dwelling rice farmers;
    • - Chinese are wealthy urban-based business class
    • - Kinh are the power holders
    • Ethnicity in Mekong delta is an idiom for talking about the class, occupational and spatial distinctions.
  • 35. Dr. Philip Taylor, Department of Anthropology Email: [email_address]
    • Research Interests: The anthropology of contemporary Vietnam, the Mekong sub-region and Southeast Asia; ethnicity, identity politics & religion;
    • Key Publications
    • 2007 Cham Muslims of the Mekong Delta: Place and Mobility in the Cosmopolitan Periphery . Singapore: National University of Singapore Press.
    • 2007 Modernity and Re-Enchantment: Religion in Post-Revolutionary Vietnam . Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies.
    • 2004 Goddess on the Rise: Pilgrimage and popular religion in Vietnam . Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.
    • 2004 Social Inequality in Vietnam and the Challenges to Reform. Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies.
    • Career Highlights
    • Postgraduate Convener, Anthropology Program UWA; Consultant Anthropologist for Bidjara People's and Iman People's Native Title Applications; Consultant Anthropologist on Vietnam Program Effectiveness Review (AusAID), Mekong Delta Poverty Analysis (AusAID) Convener Vietnam Update 2003, 2005;
  • 36. 14. Li Tana, ANU “ Ethnic Chinese Business Dominance in Historical Perspectives”
    • While majority of Vietnam’s minority peoples are seen as “remote”, ill-adapted culturally to market relations and consequently living disproportionately in poverty, the Ethnic Chinese are often held up as the exception in the new consensus in Vietnamese development circle. The explanation of Chinese dominance can be usefully placed in historical context.
    • Based on archive studies, the paper establishes the understanding of the position of the Chinese in Vietnam war, their business network in relation with communist activities in South Vietnam during the war
    • The VN war was a dominating factor that shaped the lives of both the Vietnamese and Chinese, and help understand how the Chinese were situated among the Vietnamese, and ethnicity as a factor determining outcomes in the market economy.
  • 37. Dr. Tana Li, Division of Pacific and Asian History Email: [email_address]
    • Research Interests
    • History of Vietnamese society, economy and technology, 15th-19th centuries; regional trade and the history of ports in the South China Sea region; Vietnamese historiography
    • Key Publications
    • Nguyen Cochichina: Southern Vietnam in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries, SEAP, Cornell University, 1998.
    • (Two Vietnamese editions published in Hue (1995) and Hochiminh City (1997), Chinese edition published in Beijing (2000).
    • Peasants on the Move: A Study of Rural-to-Urban Migration in the Hanoi Region, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore, 1996.
    • (joint ed. with Anthony Reid) Southern Vietnam under the Nguyen , Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore/ECHOSEA, ANU, 1993, (reprinted 1995).
    • Career Highlights
    • Lecturer, Peking University (1983-88); Research Fellow, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore (1993-1994); Lecturer/ Senior lecturer, University of Wollongong, 1994-Jan.2002; Senior Fellow, Australian National University (Feb.2002-present).
  • 38.  
  • 39. Nguyen Van Chinh A reflection of recent trends of anthropological studies on ethnic minorities in Vietnam
    • How the recent knowledge on ethnic minorities in Vietnam are produced?: 1) Scholarly works conducted by institutionalized research institutes/organizations; 2) Independent foreign scholars; 3) International & national development agencies.
    • Driven by different approaches and research goals, the knowledge they produced can be diverse and distinct:
    • - Vietnamese scholars interested in describing ethnic cultural features, and ethnic identification
    • - Foreign researchers concern the relationships between the state and ethnic minorities
    • - Development agencies concentrate on issues, questions & policies influencing the development of ethnic minorities
    • - There are gaps, conflicts, and overlap in their research outcomes but the share and exchange of knowledge among them is vague
  • 40. Research interests in Vietnamese ethnology
    • Identification/classification of ethnic groups
    • Describing the cultural features and languages of ethnic groups, seeing ethnic cultures as something slowly change or unchanged.
    • More emphasis is about the so-called ‘traditional culture’ which is regarded as the core of ethnic identity and values
    • Critiques are focused on backward/primitive practices, customs and beliefs, aimed at changing the indigenous ways of life
    • Recently, concerns about socio-economic issues and development (i.e. indigenous knowledge, social change, migration, poverty reduction) in the ethnic minorities and mountainous regions are interested.
    • Evolutionist/colonialist: Looking at the way of life of the ethnic minorities as backward and primitive ones
  • 41. Research interests by foreign scholars
    • Focus on the state – ethnic relationship, tend to look at the state as the actor of cultural change and assimilation to ethnic minorities
    • C. Keyes’ argument (1987:19):
    • “… tribal people and ethnic minorities have been subjected to remarkably similar policies-ones that aim to eliminate tribal people’s distinctive in identities and ways of life”
    • “… Vietnam’s policies toward minority peoples in general and tribal peoples in particular has been as assimilationist as those of other countries in mainland SEA”
  • 42. A reflection of recent trends of anthropological studies on ethnic minorities in Vietnam (continued)
    • Salemink’s argument (2000:129):
    • The state is preoccupied by questions of sovereignty, security and territorial integrity
    • Aiming at well-being and the “improvement” of ethnic groups into proper citizens of the state through various disciplining tactics
    • Governmentalization of the Montagnard way of life
    •  Simplification of the state, overlooking other actors involving in the socio-economic changes among ethnic minorities (e.g. Thai-ization in SEA, non-state factors)
  • 43. Research interests by development agencies
    • Focus on understanding ethnic minority poverty: why EM are poor? Explanations tend to emphasize two factors: 1) lack of endowments such as land, human and physical capital; 2) problems of knowledge, customs or culture result in lower returns on endowments
    • Search for implications for action plans: improvements of education, health care, resource governance, agricultural extension, infrastructure development
    • Impacts/consequences of development schemes in ethnic minorities are inadequately assessed
    • Indigenous voices are usually overlooked for various reasons
  • 44. Voices
    • How can we share, exchange and access the knowledge on ethnic minorities produced by different forces?
    • Training courses and programs on applied anthropology and development, and more applied researches are needed
    • Focus on EM as agent of change: indigenous knowledge and adaptation ability for development