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postgraduate thesis: Gender, mobility, and the space in-between : Vietnamese brides negotiating the boundaries of tradition and modernity at the China-Vietnam border

TitleGender, mobility, and the space in-between : Vietnamese brides negotiating the boundaries of tradition and modernity at the China-Vietnam border
Authors
Issue Date2014
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Huang, P. [黄鹏丽]. (2014). Gender, mobility, and the space in-between : Vietnamese brides negotiating the boundaries of tradition and modernity at the China-Vietnam border. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5446487
AbstractChina-Vietnam marriages attract increasing public attention in China and trigger many discussions on the phenomenon of “Vietnamese brides”. The discussions are often linked to the rapid modernization of the border areas since the 1990s, caused by the re-opening of the border, the prosperity of the transnational economy, and the increase of cross-border mobility between the two countries. However, modernity in the borderlands has been “compressed” and unsystematic, which has a major impact on cross-border marriages. This study, thus, is designed to examine how individuals in China-Vietnam marriages have gone through the situation of compressed modernity. A qualitative research paradigm was adopted to guide this study and twenty-nine Vietnamese brides were identified as key informants and interviewed carefully for data collection. The aim is not only to refute the popular discourses that see Vietnamese brides as “traditional”, “money-loving” and “ignorant” women, but also to present how they construct a modern self, reclaim and reshape their identities as “Vietnamese brides”, and create different life chances and spaces through their cross border marriage and mobility. Findings and analyses show that Vietnamese brides’ making of a modern self is a continuing disembedment and re-embedment process within which gender relations are re-negotiated, reshaped, and reproduced. In terms of their different social class and positions, they have resorted to different ideals of femininities to recreate their images and identities as “Vietnamese brides”. Useful tactics, such as making concessions, running away, or excelling, have been developed or strategically adopted by these women to claim their agency and subjectivity in intimate relationships. Importantly, the specific context of the China-Vietnam border has provided varied opportunities and resources for Vietnamese brides to go beyond the state’s regulations and constraints on citizenship and to experiment the alternatives. Through taking advantage of the situations of 乱(chaos) and the benefits of living in the space “inbetween”, Vietnamese brides have developed different transnational networks and practiced their maternal citizenship at these border zones. Modernity is the outcome of globally connected histories but with uneven consequences. Although individuals are all included in modernity, they are differently positioned within it. Thus modernity is not monolithic and it is experienced differently and has varied consequences for gendered and sexual relations in different parts of the world. This research on Vietnamese brides has engaged with current academic debates around modernity and intimacy, and the purpose is to reveal the increasing complexity and diversity of patterns of intimacy in compressed modernity. It provides a good empirical case to elucidate that even within a relatively small specific region of the borderlands, there is also a highly complex and fluid social system of compressed modernity. Vietnamese brides’ varying practices of intimacy not only question the Western-centric theorization of modernity but also indicate their different ways to participate in and engage with modernity.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
SubjectIntercountry marriage - China
Intercountry marriage - Vietnam
Dept/ProgramSocial Work and Social Administration
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/210182

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorHuang, Pengli-
dc.contributor.author黄鹏丽-
dc.date.accessioned2015-05-26T23:10:09Z-
dc.date.available2015-05-26T23:10:09Z-
dc.date.issued2014-
dc.identifier.citationHuang, P. [黄鹏丽]. (2014). Gender, mobility, and the space in-between : Vietnamese brides negotiating the boundaries of tradition and modernity at the China-Vietnam border. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5446487-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/210182-
dc.description.abstractChina-Vietnam marriages attract increasing public attention in China and trigger many discussions on the phenomenon of “Vietnamese brides”. The discussions are often linked to the rapid modernization of the border areas since the 1990s, caused by the re-opening of the border, the prosperity of the transnational economy, and the increase of cross-border mobility between the two countries. However, modernity in the borderlands has been “compressed” and unsystematic, which has a major impact on cross-border marriages. This study, thus, is designed to examine how individuals in China-Vietnam marriages have gone through the situation of compressed modernity. A qualitative research paradigm was adopted to guide this study and twenty-nine Vietnamese brides were identified as key informants and interviewed carefully for data collection. The aim is not only to refute the popular discourses that see Vietnamese brides as “traditional”, “money-loving” and “ignorant” women, but also to present how they construct a modern self, reclaim and reshape their identities as “Vietnamese brides”, and create different life chances and spaces through their cross border marriage and mobility. Findings and analyses show that Vietnamese brides’ making of a modern self is a continuing disembedment and re-embedment process within which gender relations are re-negotiated, reshaped, and reproduced. In terms of their different social class and positions, they have resorted to different ideals of femininities to recreate their images and identities as “Vietnamese brides”. Useful tactics, such as making concessions, running away, or excelling, have been developed or strategically adopted by these women to claim their agency and subjectivity in intimate relationships. Importantly, the specific context of the China-Vietnam border has provided varied opportunities and resources for Vietnamese brides to go beyond the state’s regulations and constraints on citizenship and to experiment the alternatives. Through taking advantage of the situations of 乱(chaos) and the benefits of living in the space “inbetween”, Vietnamese brides have developed different transnational networks and practiced their maternal citizenship at these border zones. Modernity is the outcome of globally connected histories but with uneven consequences. Although individuals are all included in modernity, they are differently positioned within it. Thus modernity is not monolithic and it is experienced differently and has varied consequences for gendered and sexual relations in different parts of the world. This research on Vietnamese brides has engaged with current academic debates around modernity and intimacy, and the purpose is to reveal the increasing complexity and diversity of patterns of intimacy in compressed modernity. It provides a good empirical case to elucidate that even within a relatively small specific region of the borderlands, there is also a highly complex and fluid social system of compressed modernity. Vietnamese brides’ varying practices of intimacy not only question the Western-centric theorization of modernity but also indicate their different ways to participate in and engage with modernity.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.subject.lcshIntercountry marriage - China-
dc.subject.lcshIntercountry marriage - Vietnam-
dc.titleGender, mobility, and the space in-between : Vietnamese brides negotiating the boundaries of tradition and modernity at the China-Vietnam border-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb5446487-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineSocial Work and Social Administration-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-

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