For Our Children's Future: Inequalities in Rural Development in Vietnam

Monday, July 14, 2014: 6:15 PM
Room: 512
Distributed Paper
Charles NGUYEN , University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, Honolulu, HI
The previous literature on Vietnam’s growing urban landscape shows a great deal of rapid change in Vietnam. The 1986 Đổi Mới initiative set up by the central government instigated the rural communities to develop into urban communities. This program had opened up private businesses which incentived rural communities to urbanize in an effort to modernize Vietnam. These cases of rapid urbanization seem to widen the economic gap of a population over time. Although some people are able to enjoy the benefits which come with urbanization, many are still left in impoverished conditions. These glaring differences in lifestyle and the distribution of wealth which were once reduced by strong government policies are now being superseded by transnational businesses.
This structural gap formed by larger movements in globalization, I imagine would create similar differences in personal perception of the world.  Differences in experience in this national effort, changes how individuals understand their own identity, their responsibility to the land, and their sense of security for the future. This research is grounded on a 1080 rural households surveyed through an East West Center, National Science Foundation funded research on Avian Influenza and coupled Anthropogenic systems. My findings show that there are key differences in how traditional, transitional and modern farming communities are affected by and understand rural development. Particularly interesting findings include significant perception differences found between the men and the women surveyed. I predict that the cognitive differences of Vietnamese citizens would not simply be due to differences in resources or education; however, a gradual process in which cultural practices becomes embedded in everyday behavior.