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Sexual desires and 'social evils': Young women in rural Vietnam

Rydström, Helle LU (2006) In Gender, Place and Culture 13(3). p.283-301
Abstract
Vietnam's increased integration into the global market economy entails rapid and dynamic changes that foster new ways of acting, interacting and rendering the world meaningful. This article addresses the ways in which an ongoing process of transformation in contemporary Vietnam is epitomised by the ambivalence and ambiguity with which female sexuality is imbued. Female sexuality is ideally restricted to marriage and motherhood, meaning that females' premarital or extramarital sexual relations tend to be associated with the category of 'social evils' (te nan xa hoi). The category of 'social evils' is vague in definition and was introduced into Vietnamese society by virtue of what was seen as the country's increased involvement in a morally... (More)
Vietnam's increased integration into the global market economy entails rapid and dynamic changes that foster new ways of acting, interacting and rendering the world meaningful. This article addresses the ways in which an ongoing process of transformation in contemporary Vietnam is epitomised by the ambivalence and ambiguity with which female sexuality is imbued. Female sexuality is ideally restricted to marriage and motherhood, meaning that females' premarital or extramarital sexual relations tend to be associated with the category of 'social evils' (te nan xa hoi). The category of 'social evils' is vague in definition and was introduced into Vietnamese society by virtue of what was seen as the country's increased involvement in a morally polluted world. By drawing on two periods of fieldwork (1994-1995 and 2000-2001) in a northern rural Vietnamese commune, this article highlights the ways in which female sexuality in a local field site is intertwined with anxieties about the forces of a global and 'poisonous culture' (van hoa doc hai) that may lead young women to transgress moral limits: for example, by having premarital sex. For many rural female adolescents sexuality thus means a need of self-imposed and/or governmentally imposed control in order to guarantee appropriate morality. For others, however, sexuality means the involvement in premarital sexual relations and, hence, a crossing of moral boundaries. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Gender, Place and Culture
volume
13
issue
3
pages
283 - 301
publisher
Routledge
external identifiers
  • wos:000238853400006
  • scopus:33748301987
ISSN
0966-369X
DOI
10.1080/09663690600701053
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
a4bfd8de-5d50-41be-ae7e-b670c4a2b5a0 (old id 686427)
date added to LUP
2016-04-01 16:28:20
date last changed
2020-12-08 05:16:36
@article{a4bfd8de-5d50-41be-ae7e-b670c4a2b5a0,
  abstract     = {Vietnam's increased integration into the global market economy entails rapid and dynamic changes that foster new ways of acting, interacting and rendering the world meaningful. This article addresses the ways in which an ongoing process of transformation in contemporary Vietnam is epitomised by the ambivalence and ambiguity with which female sexuality is imbued. Female sexuality is ideally restricted to marriage and motherhood, meaning that females' premarital or extramarital sexual relations tend to be associated with the category of 'social evils' (te nan xa hoi). The category of 'social evils' is vague in definition and was introduced into Vietnamese society by virtue of what was seen as the country's increased involvement in a morally polluted world. By drawing on two periods of fieldwork (1994-1995 and 2000-2001) in a northern rural Vietnamese commune, this article highlights the ways in which female sexuality in a local field site is intertwined with anxieties about the forces of a global and 'poisonous culture' (van hoa doc hai) that may lead young women to transgress moral limits: for example, by having premarital sex. For many rural female adolescents sexuality thus means a need of self-imposed and/or governmentally imposed control in order to guarantee appropriate morality. For others, however, sexuality means the involvement in premarital sexual relations and, hence, a crossing of moral boundaries.},
  author       = {Rydström, Helle},
  issn         = {0966-369X},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {283--301},
  publisher    = {Routledge},
  series       = {Gender, Place and Culture},
  title        = {Sexual desires and 'social evils': Young women in rural Vietnam},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09663690600701053},
  doi          = {10.1080/09663690600701053},
  volume       = {13},
  year         = {2006},
}