Trading in Uncertainty

Entrepreneurship, Morality and Trust in a Vietnamese Textile-Handling Village

  • Esther Horat

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Esther Horat
    Pages 37-60
  3. Esther Horat
    Pages 61-91
  4. Esther Horat
    Pages 93-119
  5. Esther Horat
    Pages 121-143
  6. Esther Horat
    Pages 145-172
  7. Esther Horat
    Pages 173-188
  8. Esther Horat
    Pages 189-216
  9. Esther Horat
    Pages 217-227
  10. Back Matter
    Pages 229-239

About this book


This book is an ethnographic case study, based on first hand observation, of family businesses in the northern Vietnamese village of Ninh Hiệp along the Red River Delta, which became a major hub for textiles in the wake of the country’s shift towards market socialism. The author explores how the traders experience, negotiate and react to a marketization process that is markedly shaped by the state’s morally ambivalent governance, and which can be thus characterised as an admixture of socialist and neoliberal ideologies.

How are traders shaping the political economy of Vietnam? How has the labour force changed as textile-handling has become an increasingly profitable undertaking? Horat explores the relationships between traders and local authorities, as well as changing ideas of masculinity and femininity. Focusing on the redevelopment of the market landscape and the increasing share of private ownership that have given rise to great uncertainty, this book

provides a well-timed inquiry into current debates of economic development in a uniquely shaped market environment.

Esther Horat is Lecturer and Researcher at the University of Zurich, Switzerland. She wrote her doctoral thesis at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle/Saale, Germany, as well as at the University of Zurich, Switzerland.


Economic anthropology Family business Gender Post-socialism Political economy Trade Heterodox economics Neoliberal governance Socialist Gender Economic growth

Authors and affiliations

  • Esther Horat
    • 1
  1. 1.Universität Zürich ZurichSwitzerland

Bibliographic information

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