We are delighted to share this recent publication in Sociology Compass by Ly An, a doctoral candidate in sociology and public health at the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society, La Trobe University, Australia, and affiliate of Hanoi Medical University, Vietnam.
Image ©KirilDobrev Unsplash. Image of a Vietnamese man in a large field, lounging on top of a buffalo, sun setting behind him with trees and mountains in the distance.
Ly has over 12 years’ experience in conducting research in Vietnam on men’s health, masculinity, gender, sexuality, and AIDS/HIV. She completed her Masters of Public Health at Emory University in the United States in 2014. She was also the project director of the first cohort study aiming to measure HIV and STI prevalence and incidence among men who have sex with men (MSM) in Vietnam, and a recruitment and retention coordinator of the Vietnam site of HPTN 083, the first large-scale clinical trial of a long-acting injectable drug for HIV prevention among MSM. Ly has published several qualitative and quantitative papers, and presented her work at several international conferences on masculinity, HIV prevention, and men’s alcohol drinking practices in Vietnam. Ly’s doctoral work is exploring Vietnamese men’s experiences of sex with other men, risk-taking, and body image under the supervision of Dr Andrea Waling and Deputy Director and Associate Professor Adam Bourne.
What’s the paper about?
This is the first paper from Ly’s doctoral project. In this paper Ly and colleagues provide a critical review of current scholarship debates concerning men and masculinity in Vietnam. In recent years, men and masculinities in Southeast Asia has begun to receive more attention from scholars as the result of increasing attention to intersections of race, gender space, colonialism, and place in countries such as Vietnam.
The paper has two aims.
The first aim is to provide an overview of studies on men and masculinities in Vietnam by providing a summary of the major themes present in the literature and the key discourses which underpin and shape the way Vietnamese masculinities are studied.
The second aim is to highlight gaps in the current literature and offer suggestions as to how research on men and masculinities in Vietnam can be further explored.
The paper begins with an overview of Vietnamese culture, history, and social life, followed by a brief discussion of the literature review method and methodology.
Image ©mdnolan Unsplash. Image of several Vietnamese people on motorcycles at night riding through Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
The findings of the review notes that Vietnamese masculinities are predominantly understood through
Concepts of Confucianism, with a particular focus on traditional ideas about gender and gender relations in kinship structures;
Considerations of Vietnamese masculinities post Đổi Mới (Renovation) and the impact of women's engagement in the labor market; and
A focus on men as “at risk” or vulnerable, including a focus on alcohol consumption and engagement in domestic violence.
The paper highlights several gaps in current men and masculinity research in Vietnam. These include:
1. sexuality and sexual practices
2. reflexive engagements with concepts of masculinity
3. focus on men residing in urban centres; and
4. considerations of bodywork and body project practices
It notes that most research on men in Vietnam is often conducted through a Western approach. That is, the application of Western methodologies, theories, and epistemologies with limited consideration of space and place.
The paper thus concludes with a call for further research on men and masculinities in Vietnam framed through postcolonial epistemologies and research methodologies.
Where can I read it?
An, L., Waling, A., & Bourne, A. (2022). Men and masculinities studies in Vietnam: A brief review. Sociology Compass. DOI:10.1111/soc4.12965