Mobile householding and marital dissolution in Vietnam: An inevitable consequence?

Locke, Catherine, Thi Thanh Tam, Nguyen and Thi Ngan Hoa, Nguyen (2014) Mobile householding and marital dissolution in Vietnam: An inevitable consequence? Geoforum, 51. 273–283. ISSN 0016-7185

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Abstract

The challenges of householding across time and space inevitably strain marital roles and relationships, as well as providing temptations and opportunities for sexual infidelity, and is assumed to increase the propensity for marital breakdown. This paper raises questions about the assumed relationship between migration and marital disruption through qualitative evidence from Vietnam. We focus on 14 men and women migrants with disrupted marriages in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh. We explore their interpretations of the breakdown of their marriages and the role that migration played within this. Long-standing views in Vietnam prioritise the creation and sustaining of household-level social processes over and above couple’s intimacy and emotional relationship and these are highly resilient in the face of extended spousal separation. At the same time, though, some men and some women actively choose to disrupt their marriages where expectations about intimacy, fidelity, and obligations for provisioning and care were not met. We argue that migration plays into experiences of marital disruption in highly divergent ways and experiences of marital disruption and migration are more subtly gendered than is commonly portrayed. In doing so, we seek to contribute to both the literature on householding and to policy thinking about responses to migration.

Item Type: Article
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of International Development
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 25 Oct 2013 12:32
Last Modified: 21 Apr 2020 22:03
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/43874
DOI: 10.1016/j.geoforum.2013.03.002

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