Vanishing Rice Fields delineates how the quest for wealth and belief manifests itself in contemporary Vietnam. Based on multi-local and longitudinal ethnographic research, the author examines how wealth is pursued by household members and entrepreneurs. The quest for belief is brought into relief through inquiry into how norms and values have been re-evaluated, altered, subverted or restored. Focusing on the taboo topic of female feticide, the study elucidates why some parents ultimately decide to commit feticide, and why others, especially entrepreneurs, refrain from it. The case of the entrepreneurs shows a possible way out of the "vicious circle" that leads to female feticide and perpetuates gender inequality.
Angelica Wehrli (PD Dr.) is a social anthropologist and senior lecturer at the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of St. Gallen, Switzerland. Her research focuses on economic anthropology, gender inequalities, changes in norms and values and socio-economic transformation.