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A Zone of Exception: Gendered Violences of Family 'Happiness' in Vietnam

  • Helle Rydström
Publiceringsår: 2017-07-26
Språk: Engelska
Sidor: 1051-1070
Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie: Gender, Place and Culture
Volym: 24
Nummer: 7
Dokumenttyp: Artikel i tidskrift
Förlag: Routledge

Abstract english

This article examines the ways in which women’s ‘family happiness’ in Vietnam paradoxically, and alarmingly, is rendered compatible with the endurance of what is diminished as ‘minor’ partner violence. Thus focusing on the gendering of ‘happiness’ and the discrepancies between ideals and practices, the article unfolds how intersections between a number of ‘power-geometries’ including violence preventive legislation, an official family discourse, and the patrilineally organized family facilitate the conditions that allow for male-to-female violence in the domestic sphere. The article highlights how Intimate Partner Violence transmutes the ‘happy family’ into a ‘zone of exception’ wherein which the laws prohibiting violence are suspended, the juridico-political status and rights of a woman blurred, and a state of chronic precariousness and crisis generated. Such tendencies are fortified by the ambiguous strategies of the Women’s Union. In maneuvering between violence preventive legislation and family ideals, the Union is criticizing patriarchal family hierarchies while also encouraging women to nurture family happiness by complying with an abusive partner.


  • Gender Studies


  • ISSN: 0966-369X
E-post: helle [dot] rydstrom [at] genus [dot] lu [dot] se


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