Date of Award

August 2016

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Azra Hromadzic


Migration, Mobilities, Morality, Rural, Social Class, Vietnam

Subject Categories

Social and Behavioral Sciences


This dissertation examines the changing rurality and the profound social stratification in contemporary Vietnam through the lens of rural-to-rural female migration. It is based on eighteen months of ethnographic research in a rural offshore fishing community in northern Vietnam called Hải Thành. I study the migration of two groups of women: 1) transnational women, who are young Hải Thành girls that marry Taiwanese and South Korean men, and migrate to mostly rural areas in East Asia, and 2) translocal women, who are women from other rural Vietnamese communities who migrate to Hải Thành to marry local men. My dissertation analyzes the relationship between movement and social class. It shows how female migration both sustains and transforms social hierarchies and binaries in unexpected ways via the embodiment of ethnicity, class, gender, age, and rurality, and practices of beauty, migration, education and morality. The double rural-to-rural female migration pattern in Hải Thành indicates that movement and social stratification are indicative of a complex rural landscape, and productive of modern and gendered rural subjectivities in Vietnam, which are produced through multiple political, cultural, historical and economic forces.


Open Access