This paper seeks to understand the patterns and experiences of migration from a subsistence rice-farming village in Quảng Nam Province. Emigration from Bình Yên ranges from circular and seasonal migration to the cities and central highlands for construction, forestry and plantation work; semi-permanent migration to Đà Nẵng and the south for work in the manufacturing and service sectors; and more permanent migration to Hà Lam, Tam Kỳ, Đà Nẵng, Hồ Chí Minh City and elsewhere for education, trading, business, and professional employment. In addition, people from Bình Yên have engaged in assisted settlement migration to frontier zones in Đắk Lắk Province since the time of the Ngô Đình Diệm regime. By examining migration from the perspective of the village, the paper aims to illuminate the central Vietnamese peasant experience of the policies and socioeconomic conditions that have driven some of the nation's major migratory movements. The authors also map the social geography that ties members of the Bình Yên diaspora back to the village and to each other. Emigrants participate in the cash economy and endure alienated social relations in the cities and factories. When they return to Bình Yên they return to a world of tradition, warm social ties and a moral economy. Given this relationship, the paper asks, how do Bình Yên's locals and emigrants conceptualize their places in the socio-spatial “constellation” that connects the village to the locations in which its members have settled or found temporary work?
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