east EN

Cours-conférence « Crossing the doorstep: Identities and public space in Vietnam and in its diaspora »

par Minh Van Nguyen, EASt, ULB


In the last three decades, Vietnam has undergone a dramatic transformation of public space in both its physical features and its symbolic meaning. Almost every square, park or street is imbued with historical and political values, which projects the government’s agenda onto the space of everyday life. At the same time, the economic shift towards capitalism brought Western-style bars, restaurants, and shopping malls to the cityscape, which contributes to widen the gap between traditional values and a new globally-driven lifestyle. The youths are thus caught between two fires: on the one hand, they are subjected to their families’ expectations regarding family building and social behaviour, and on the other they are pushed to become the driving force behind the new economic expansion promoted by the Government. The processes of community-building and place-making taken on by the so-called overseas Vietnamese account for a similar scenario, in which young Vietnamese-Americans grow up in conservative households while striving to accomplish their parents’ dreams of cultural assimilation and economic success. The issue of intergenerational conflict will be addressed in a transnational perspective so as to highlight the way youths both in Vietnam and in its diaspora use public space to challenge traditional values and thus create new identities.

Van Minh Nguyen
is a PhD fellow in Social Anthropology at the Université Libre the Bruxelles. Prior to joining the ARC project “GENEsYs – East Asian Youth: Identities and Practices in Public Space”, he completed a BA in Language, Culture and Society of Japan, and a MA in Cultural Anthropology, Ethnology and Ethnolinguistics, both at the Ca’ Foscari University of Venice. For his MA thesis, he conducted field research in the Vietnamese community of Houston, studying how the memory of the home country is transmitted by older generations of migrants to third and fourth generations of American born youngsters. His current research focuses on the negotiation of identities among young dwellers in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Particularly, it addresses public spaces as forums for individual and collective action and expression, spaces of protest and domains for the practice of citizenship, as well as sites where conflicting memories and contested expectations are performed/enacted.

Mardi 13 mars 2018 de 14h à 16h

Auditoire AY.2.112
Bâtiment A – Porte Y – 2e niveau – Local AY.2.112
Avenue F. Roosevelt 50
1050 Bruxelles

Entrée libre et gratuite, sans inscription

Titulaire du cours : Vanessa Frangville