The aim of my dissertation project is to analyse livelihood strategies ofcitizens in the socio-economic context of Nam Dinh City. The launching ofdoi moi in 1986 was a turning point in the history of Vietnam and impliesoutstanding changes from the former centrally planned economy to a ‘marketeconomy with socialist direction’. By comparing the local context of NamDinh City with national trends in Vietnam and by contrasting them withglobal development, I will link the local to the global and thereforeenhance contextualisation and possible interdependences. For a betterunderstanding of the multifaceted situation I intend to focus onhouseholds as they represent a link between the individual and the societyas a whole which are both embedded in the supra-local. On the basis ofthis analysis both effects and adaptations of household livelihoodstrategies in the realm of processes of urbanisation and transformationwill become evident. My goal is to contribute to the understanding ofthese processes which are increasingly gaining importance not only inVietnam but also in other parts of the world. Furthermore, this SocialAnthropological research will be among the first to investigate householdlivelihood strategies in urban Red River Delta as almost all scholarscontinue to concentrate their studies on rural Vietnam.
To achieve my research goal I will be qualitatively analysing livelihoodstrategies by conducting extensive field research in the mediumsized-city, Nam Dinh City. In order to gain differentiated insights intothe highly complex process of ongoing socio-economic changes on thesupra-local level and the experience of citizens on the local level, Iwill concentrate upon four central topics: Household livelihood strategiesand ways of securing livelihood, household livelihood strategies to fightpoverty and gender relationships and their implications. Through theanalysis of theses three areas the fourth research interest will beinvestigated: the extent to which household livelihood strategies areindicators for social transformation. These results will permit to findout if these changes led to ‘parallel’-societies, characterised by sectorsthat are only loosely connected and bear separate ideals, values androles. Moreover, I believe that my research will serve as a valuablecomparison for studies trying to understand the securing of livelihoods inthe realm of (post)-socialist societies.