10. Mar 2023 / 28 min

Consumption and Vietnam’s New Middle Classes: Societal Transformations and Everyday Life

A conversation with Arve Hansen and Manisha Anantharaman. Hosted by Kenneth Bo Nielsen.

In this episode, we discuss Arve Hansen’s new book Consumption and Vietnam’s New Middle Classes: Societal Transformations and Everyday Life (Springer, 2022). In this book, Hansen studies the dramatic changes in consumption patterns in Vietnam over the past decades, focusing on how everyday life changes in the context of rapid economic development and capitalist transformations.

How does a consumer society emerge and take shape in Vietnam’s socialist market economy? What is consumer socialism? Why should we study the consumption patterns of Asia’s new middle classes, and are there similarities between the middle classes in Vietnam and India? To discuss these questions, we are joined by the author and Manisha Anantharaman

Manisha Anantharaman, associate professor of Justice, Community and Leadership at Saint Mary’s College of California in the Bay Area. She teaches and does research on the politics of sustainability, and has among many other things written extensively on the ‘environmentalism’ of India’s middle classes.

Arve Hansen is a human geographer at the Centre for Development and the Environment at the University of Oslo, teaching and researching consumption and sustainability with particular focus on Vietnam. He also leads the Norwegian Network for Asian Studies with Kenneth Bo Nielsen.

Kenneth Bo Nielsen is an Associate Professor at the dept. of Social Anthropology at the University of Oslo and one of the leaders of the Norwegian Network for Asian Studies.

The Nordic Asia Podcast is a collaboration sharing expertise on Asia across the Nordic region, brought to you by the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (NIAS) based at the University of Copenhagen, along with our academic partners: the Centre for East Asian Studies at the University of Turku, and Asianettverket at the University of Oslo.

We aim to produce timely, topical and well-edited discussions of new research and developments about Asia.

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