The Development of Anthropology as a Discipline in Vietnam


Dang Nguyen Anh

and Vuong Xuan Tinh

Abstract:  This article examines how Vietnamese anthropology has responded to Doi Moi or “Renovation”, a series of market-oriented policy reforms officially introduced in 1986 that have accelerated since the 1990s. The article begins with a brief discussion of Vietnamese anthropology prior to renovation. It then turns to the changes in organization, training and methods that emerged in the Doi Moi era, followed by a discussion the key concerns of Doi Moi anthropology. During this era, anthropology has focused on national priorities, including economic development and especially updated issues of ethnic minority culture and ethno-national sentiments. Having traced the main trends of Doi Moi anthropology, the article concludes with suggestions for the continued “post-” or “later-Doi Moi” renovation of the structure, mandates and practice of anthropology to meet the visions of Vietnam’s future.

Key words:  anthropology discipline, development, renovation, Doi Moi, Vietnam