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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - The Journal of Peasant Studies
Title Becoming and being urban in Hanoi: Rural-urban migration and relations in Viet Nam
Volume 39
Issue 5
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2012
Page numbers 1103-1131
URL http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/03066150.2011.652618
The discourse of the rural-urban migrant is that of a sojourner in the city, a man
or a woman who will almost inevitably return to his or her rural roots and
re-engage with farming and village living. In this paper we ask whether ruralurban
migrants can ‘become’ urban and shed their identification as temporary
denizens of the city. We develop a conceptual framework that provides five entry
points to explore this process of becoming urban, and then apply the framework
drawing on the experiences of migrants to Viet Nam’s capital, Hanoi. We argue
that even when migrants do return to their homelands they do so with altered
priorities and on different terms. The experience of migration was not infrequently
transformative and life-changing. While migrants may not ‘become’
urban in the fullest sense, their homeland had become a space of familial origin
and emotional identification, not a place where people necessarily sought to
reside, work, raise their children and build their lives.

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