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Neo-Geomancy and Real Estate Fever in Postreform Vietnam

Neo-Geomancy and Real Estate Fever in Postreform Vietnam This article situates localized Vietnamese practices of geomancy within the broader history of land-use right reforms in the postreform era. On the immediate level, geomancy appears to represent individualized attempts to reconstruct private homes and cultivate personal landscapes—a seemingly bottom-up phenomenon. Situating these seemingly individualized practices within the larger social, political, legal, and economic landscape, however, shows that they cannot be decoupled from top-down processes driving the privatization of property relations. Combining thick description with a critical study of the structures impinging on Vietnamese real estate markets shows that seemingly bottom-up challenges to the state are in fact linked to much more top-down dynamics. The case of geomancy shows that analysis of individual actions must always pay attention to the way such actions are often linked to pathways of power that flow up, down, and sideways. While Vietnamese market-oriented socialism is not always described as neoliberal, this article shows that the anthropological critique of neoliberalism offers an important model and method for understanding the situated context of geomancy within the larger transformations gripping Vietnam today. CiteULike Connotea Delicious Digg Facebook Google+ Reddit Technorati Twitter What's this? « Previous | Next Article » Table of Contents This Article doi: 10.1215/10679847-1538470 positions 2012 Volume 20, Number 2: 405-434 » Abstract Full Text (PDF) Classifications Article Services Email this article to a colleague Alert me when this article is cited Alert me if a correction is posted Similar articles in this journal Similar articles in Web of Science Download to citation manager Citing Articles Load citing article information Citing articles via Web of Science Google Scholar Articles by Harms, E. Related Content Load related web page information Social Bookmarking CiteULike Connotea Delicious Digg Facebook Google+ Reddit Technorati Twitter What's this? Current Issue Winter 2012, 20 (1) Alert me to new issues of positions Duke University Press Journals ONLINE About the Journal Editorial Board Submission Guidelines Permissions Advertising Indexing / Abstracting Privacy Policy Subscriptions Library Resource Center Activation / Acct. Mgr. E-mail Alerts Help Feedback © 2012 by Duke University Press Print ISSN: 1067-9847 Online ISSN: 1527-8271 var gaJsHost = (("https:" == document.location.protocol) ? "https://ssl." : "http://www."); document.write(unescape("%3Cscript src='" + gaJsHost + "google-analytics.com/ga.js' type='text/javascript'%3E%3C/script%3E")); try { var pageTracker = _gat._getTracker("UA-5666725-1"); pageTracker._trackPageview(); } catch(err) {} http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png positions asia critique Duke University Press

Neo-Geomancy and Real Estate Fever in Postreform Vietnam

positions asia critique , Volume 20 (2) – Mar 20, 2012

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright © Duke Univ Press
ISSN
1067-9847
eISSN
1527-8271
DOI
10.1215/10679847-1538470
Publisher site
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Abstract

This article situates localized Vietnamese practices of geomancy within the broader history of land-use right reforms in the postreform era. On the immediate level, geomancy appears to represent individualized attempts to reconstruct private homes and cultivate personal landscapes—a seemingly bottom-up phenomenon. Situating these seemingly individualized practices within the larger social, political, legal, and economic landscape, however, shows that they cannot be decoupled from top-down processes driving the privatization of property relations. Combining thick description with a critical study of the structures impinging on Vietnamese real estate markets shows that seemingly bottom-up challenges to the state are in fact linked to much more top-down dynamics. The case of geomancy shows that analysis of individual actions must always pay attention to the way such actions are often linked to pathways of power that flow up, down, and sideways. While Vietnamese market-oriented socialism is not always described as neoliberal, this article shows that the anthropological critique of neoliberalism offers an important model and method for understanding the situated context of geomancy within the larger transformations gripping Vietnam today. CiteULike Connotea Delicious Digg Facebook Google+ Reddit Technorati Twitter What's this? « Previous | Next Article » Table of Contents This Article doi: 10.1215/10679847-1538470 positions 2012 Volume 20, Number 2: 405-434 » Abstract Full Text (PDF) Classifications Article Services Email this article to a colleague Alert me when this article is cited Alert me if a correction is posted Similar articles in this journal Similar articles in Web of Science Download to citation manager Citing Articles Load citing article information Citing articles via Web of Science Google Scholar Articles by Harms, E. Related Content Load related web page information Social Bookmarking CiteULike Connotea Delicious Digg Facebook Google+ Reddit Technorati Twitter What's this? Current Issue Winter 2012, 20 (1) Alert me to new issues of positions Duke University Press Journals ONLINE About the Journal Editorial Board Submission Guidelines Permissions Advertising Indexing / Abstracting Privacy Policy Subscriptions Library Resource Center Activation / Acct. Mgr. E-mail Alerts Help Feedback © 2012 by Duke University Press Print ISSN: 1067-9847 Online ISSN: 1527-8271 var gaJsHost = (("https:" == document.location.protocol) ? "https://ssl." : "http://www."); document.write(unescape("%3Cscript src='" + gaJsHost + "google-analytics.com/ga.js' type='text/javascript'%3E%3C/script%3E")); try { var pageTracker = _gat._getTracker("UA-5666725-1"); pageTracker._trackPageview(); } catch(err) {}

Journal

positions asia critiqueDuke University Press

Published: Mar 20, 2012

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