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Accepted Paper:

A case study of ancestor worship as a practice of rootedness in central Vietnam.  
Thi Anh Thu Dinh (University of Milano-Bicocca)

Paper Short Abstract:

Taking example from an ongoing ethnographic study in a local community in central Vietnam, this presentation explores ancestor worship as a practice of rootedness that is linked to gentrification and transnational labor migration.

Paper Abstract:

This presentation explores ancestor worship as a practice of rootedness linked to gentrification and transnational labor migration. Following an ongoing ethnographic study in a local community in central Vietnam, I will present how migrants maintain their rootedness abroad through ancestor worship, using the lens of gentrification and spatial rejuvenation.

Anthropological research sees gentrification along with different social-spatial reconstruction processes such as displacement, social stratification, cultural reproduction, etc. I describe a form of rootedness in a rural commune in central Vietnam with a large population of its citizens working abroad, unpacking how the infrastructure transformation of a rural neighborhood has absorbed itself with transnational economic process and religious traditional praxis. Particularly, by investing remittance in building and renovating family ancestral houses, migrants maintain their connections with homeland, secure and eternalize their material contributions all the while redeem for their absence from the place. This study exemplifies a socio-economic process of redressing local community in which the social actors are embedded within a larger context of traditional conservation in a global flux of capital exchange. The discussion leads to a critical view at the socioeconomic and religious diversification of the local community as well as the social construction of personal ties to homeland that are redefined based on economic advantages. More importantly, it reveals a gentrification process braid within a power structure that dictates individual privilege to inhabit space and religious position.

Panel P204
Roots and their undoing: ethnographies of connection and dislocation
  Session 1 Wednesday 24 July, 2024, -