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Title: Motorbikes against Ho Chi Minh? Or the icons of a social transformation in Vietnam
Authors: Freire, Alexandre Dormeier
Keywords: Việt Nam
Social transformation
Social values
Issue Date: 2009
Series/Report no.: The Copenhagen Journal of Asian Studies;Volume 27, Issua 1, page 67-87
Abstract: The motorcycle is an unavoidable item in contemporary Vietnam. Since the renovation policy (Doi Moi) in 1986, it has become the most visible consumption good. This article questions the utilitarian and symbolic use that is made of it by the urban populations of Hanoi. This article addresses the question of the values and social transformations within the post-socialist society in Vietnam, symbolized by the consumerism practices of motorbikes. It also explores the process of classification and differentiation and the consumerism significance related to motorbikes. Furthermore, the use of the motorcycle procures some form of intimacy and privacy for people in a society where the state still widely shapes domestic and public spaces. Certain ritual phenomena associated with the use of motorcycles are addressed as well, such as illegal races. These races contribute to the construction of the masculine identity and the article questions whether they are an act of social defiance
Appears in Collections:Social Development

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