Nguyen Thi Le | 京都大学 東南アジア地域研究研究所

Nguyen Thi Le

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Childbirth among ethnic minority in northern Vietnam – Choice and Agency in the Hmong case




Childbirth among ethnic minority in northern Vietnam – Choice and Agency in the Hmong case
My study examines how and why the Hmong people make their choices on obstetric care in the context of increasing number of existing alternatives, including commune health centres, district hospitals, private clinics, pharmacists, educated midwives, lay midwives, indigenous herbalists, shamans, or self-treatment. The study starts with the centrality of childbirth practices to social life and then trace and investigate the multiple vectors that influence it. By considering those choices in the sociocultural and political context, my study shows the local people are the active agents who can choose their mode of medical practices from both ethnomedical and biomedical systems which they consider to be reasonable, however their options might be constrained by many forces. The study therefore hopefully contributes to the academic domain as an ethnography of childbirth transition of the Hmong people; to the public heath sector in clarifying the factors influence the reproductive heath care seeking behaviors among ethnic group; and to the theorical debate on structure-agency relation.