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“Forever Hmong”: Ethnic Minority Livelihoods and Agrarian Transition in Upland Northern Vietnam*

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This article examines how ethnic minority Hmong farmers have adapted to, circumnavigated, or resisted state-sponsored agrarian change and other interventions in the northern Vietnam uplands over the past twenty years. Based on longitudinal research with Hmong informants, I examine to what extent their livelihood strategies have led to wealth creation or differentiation. The article highlights the most important transformations, as farmers conceive and voice them, to Hmong agrarian livelihoods over this period, the importance of longitudinal fieldwork to help unravel endogenous wealth definitions, and the complex impacts of state interventions on ethnic minority ways of making a living.
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Keywords: Hmong; Vietnam; agrarian transition; intervención estatal; livelihoods; medios de vida; state intervention; transición agraria

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: McGill University,

Publication date: November 1, 2012

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