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Accepted Paper:

Gender and family in contemporary Hanoi - the dusk of patrilinearity?   
Grazyna Szymanska-Matusiewicz (University of Warsaw)

Paper long abstract:

The paper is based on field research regarding the issue of changes in traditional family model led in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Traditional Vietnamese society was generally described as patrilinear, patrilocal and patriarchal (Tran Dinh Huou 1991, Pham Van Bich 1997), mainly due to the strong influence of Confucianism. Due to such historical events as introduction of socialism and building new communist state, traditional gender roles were questioned. Furthermore, since the introduction of the doi moi (liberalization) politics Vietnamese society has experienced profound changes, which include also gender issues. On the one hand, due to new chances offered by capitalist economy, women are nowadays encouraged more than ever to participate in the education process and job market. On the other hand, doi moi era is also connected with revival of traditional practices, including ancestor worship practiced in lineage halls, which are described as the key aspect of patriarchal system (Jellema 2007). Also the one-or-two children policy introduced by the government since 1988 seems to be an important factor influencing the cultural perception of manhood and womanhood (Goodkind 1995).

Contemporary Vietnamese society experiences some tensions in regard to gender issues, as both women and men are trying to conceal the expectations directed towards them in the dimensions of job career and family life. Taking a look into the interpretations of gender roles in the family life formulated by contemporary Vietnamese, as well as considering various practices connected with ancestor worship can help us to consider the condition of patrilinearity in contemporary Vietnamese society and possible changes in this system.

Panel W089
Gender and identification in patrilinear societies
  Session 1