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Where Gendered Spaces Bend: The Rubber Phenomenon in Northern Laos
Uppsala University.
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis seeks to understand and explain gendered everyday life in the village of HatNyao in Northwestern Laos, specifically in relation to rubber cultivation, by using an ethnographic approach and methods. The ‘rubber boom’ is changing the landscape of Northern Laos, and in the process is reshaping gendered everyday life. Gender relations in the village of HatNyao are undergoing various transformations whereby previous gender structures start to erode. Additional changes will probably continue to occur, largely due to increasing labour shortages. Gendered everyday life in HatNyao is therefore ‘bending’ with the changes associated with rubber cultivation, as well as in relation to different spaces of the everyday and household diversity. The concept of ‘paradoxical gendered spaces’ is invoked to capture the ways in which the dimensions and activities of the everyday vary with, in particular, ethnicity and age.

Most households in HatNyao have improved their living conditions due to rubber cultivation. Nevertheless, inequalities are increasing within the village: better-off households have improved their situation, while for others it has been more difficult to adapt to the new conditions of everyday life and rubber cultivation. As the number of villages introducing rubber in Laos is increasing, alongside the number reaching the crucial tapping stage, it is essential to understand how rubber cultivation in smallholder communities interacts with gender relations and the division of labour. There are thus both ‘good’ and ‘bad’ outcomes from introducing rubber in Laos, since it depends on the context, as well as on the diverse spaces of the everyday.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Kulturgeografiska institutionen, Uppsala universitet , 2012. , 262 p.
Geografiska regionstudier, 89
Keyword [en]
Laos, LuangNamtha, rubber, gender, HatNyao, everyday life, bend, transitions, paradoxical spaces, intersectionality, ethnography, Hmong, phenomenon, gender contract, border-region, division of labour, China
National Category
Social and Economic Geography
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-36214ISBN: 978-91-506-2298-0 (print)OAI: diva2:817630
Available from: 2015-06-05 Created: 2015-06-05 Last updated: 2015-06-05Bibliographically approved

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