Women's and men's economic roles in northern Viet Nam during an era of market reform
This dissertation examines men's and women's economic roles during northern Viet Nam's economic reform and transition from socialism to market economy.Viet Nam has experienced great social and economic upheaval in the late 20th century, including decades of war, Marxist-Leninist revolution, land reforms and economic collectivization, and, eventually, economic transformation incorporating privately-owned, market-oriented economic forms. Many households faced persistent challenges in meeting household subsistence needs over this period, challenges reflected in economic participation patterns---especially intense and persistent employment among women. Ideology and doctrine of the socialist period emphasized gender egalitarianism and universal participation in economic production; however, persistent gender-segregated patterns in the social division of labor and inequalities in socioeconomic status characterized both the socialist and market reform periods. Limited gains in women's economic status, specifically their subsuming professional services occupations, appear to have been period-specific, coinciding with the upheaval of war, large-scale military mobilization and expansion of the socialist administrative system. Military service and professional employment are less common among recently married cohorts than they were during the mid-1960s to 1980s. Rather, there has occurred a renewed 'agriculturalization' of the local economy, and increase in family entrepreneurship.Labor force participation is nearly universal for adult men and women in the Red River Delta. Across the life course women labor with great intensity, their employment relatively impervious to changes in family composition. That both men and women work with greater intensity when young children are present conveys a response to heightened expenditures and economic demands in the household.On average, women's occupational status outcomes are lower than men's, given women's greater concentration in agricultural employment. More salient than gender differences are disparities contingent upon workers' family social class backgrounds. Specifically, workers from urban areas, and whose parents worked for the government, obtained high levels of education, and/or obtained communist party membership, experience favorable occupational status outcomes. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)iI adopt the Vietnamese language use of monosyllabic word construction in this dissertation. While commonly in Western texts the country name is spelled "Vietnam," Vietnamese language separates syllables, such that Vietnam is "Viet Nam." I use this approach in writing all place names and proper names throughout this dissertation. I also adopt the Vietnamese practice of placing given names after the surname and middle name, respectively. In conversation it is common to refer to and address an individual by his or her given name, preceded by a gender and age specific term of address. In translating these terms of address I use the terms Mr. And Ms. in conjunction with an individual first name (all of which are pseudonyms, used to protect the privacy of our respondents). The Vietnamese language also features several vowels that are not used in English and uses diacritical marks to denote the tonal inflection of a syllable or word. I have chosen, in consideration of convenience in printing and in consideration of the dissertation's likely readership, to omit these diacritical marks and vowels.
- Sociology