Studies of ethnic minorities in upland northern Vietnam often emphasize how such groups are incorporated within the nation, and how members react to market liberalization. Yet, based on ethnographic research in Làào Cai Province, particularly among the Hmong, we argue that many highlanders see their situation quite differently. Combining locally embedded social, political, and economic forms with the imperatives of Vietnam's liberalization, they adapt their strategies and reinvent their livelihoods as they see fit. What is absorbed and what is discarded depends on the opportunities that arise at any precise moment, not just on rational choice and economic benefit.
- ©© 2008 by the Regents of the University of California