The Reinvention of Distinction

Modernity and the Middle Class in Urban Vietnam

  • Van Nguyen-Marshall
  • Lisa B. Welch Drummond
  • Danièle Bélanger

Part of the ARI - Springer Asia Series book series (ARI, volume 2)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-vii
  2. Danièle Bélanger, Lisa B. Welch Drummond, Van Nguyen-Marshall
    Pages 1-17
  3. Historical Perspectives

  4. Contemporary Perspectives

  5. Back Matter
    Pages 171-173

About this book


This pioneering collection brings together an international group of scholars to explore the Vietnamese middle class. From the leisure pursuits of the colonial middle class to the impact of the new urban rich on landscape of the countryside, this interdisciplinary volume explores the ways in which middle classness has been practiced in a wide range of contexts throughout the 20th century and into the 21st. In addition to offering insights into how middle classness was and is constituted and negotiated, this collection illuminates the cultural and social conditions of two distinctive periods in Vietnamese history. Three historical chapters consider how middle class status was experienced and displayed under French colonialism and in 1960s republican. These chapters offer examinations of middle classness through recreation, consumption, and associational life. Six contemporary studies examine the modes of experimentation and practice within middle class urban Vietnam. Still a sensitive topic politically, the contemporary middle class, nascent but increasingly powerful, is exerting a strong impact on the shape of contemporary society and culture, as well as on urban and rural landscapes. This volume offers a series of studies which critically interrogate the practices of those who engage in or aspire to urban middle-class lifestyles in Vietnam both in the past and in the present.


Asian studies Bourdieu Colonial Consumption Hanoi in the 21st Century Ho Chi Minh City/Saigon Life style Middle class in Vietnam Postcolonial The 'New Rich' Urban Vietnam Vietnamese Middle Class in Saigon

Editors and affiliations

  • Van Nguyen-Marshall
    • 1
  • Lisa B. Welch Drummond
    • 2
  • Danièle Bélanger
    • 3
  1. 1., Department of HistoryTrent UniversityPeterboroughCanada
  2. 2., Department of Social SciencesYork UniversityTorontoCanada
  3. 3., Department of SociologyThe University of Western OntarioLondonCanada

Bibliographic information