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Lauren Meeker
SUNY Research Foundation, College at New Paltz (New Paltz, NY 12561-2407)
Moral Responsibility, Gender, and Social Change in Lineage Ritual in Northern Vietnam

Ethnographic research and completion of a paper on the adaptations to modern social changes in the ritual practices of North Vietnamese rural villages.

This project is an ethnographic study of the gendered dimensions of moral responsibility in northern rural Vietnam, with a focus on lineage ritual. The research examines how village women, who are structural outsiders in their lineages, negotiate what are often overlapping and conflicting moral positions in order to establish themselves as moral persons in the community. In particular, the study considers how this process is affected by changing cultural values and customs. More generally, the study demonstrates how individuals construct moral and social personhood in concert with broader authoritative discourses in times of rapid societal change. It also highlights the diverse ways that local communities address a core humanistic problem: how individuals, each embodying a singular way-of-being in the world, come to live together in a moral community.

Project fields:
Cultural Anthropology

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2018 – 8/31/2018