When development means political maturation: Adolescents as miniature communists in post-war and pre-reform Vietnam, 1975-1986

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In this study, I documented the conceptualization and representation of adolescence in Vietnam between the end of the Vietnam War and before Vietnam adopted the Western market economy. Using historical archives, especially newspapers written for and by adolescents, I argued that during this period, the Vietnamese society conceptualized life course development as a process through which an individual gains political maturity, which means the learning and practicing of communist doctrines. As such, adolescence was viewed between 1975 and 1986 as a political stage that prepares youths to become mature communists. Adolescents, therefore, were portrayed as miniature communists with norms, attitudes and behaviors shaped by communist doctrines. Adolescence was not associated with problem behavior or sexual maturation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)256-278
Number of pages23
JournalHistory of the Family
Volume17
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Discourse
  • Life course development
  • Miniature communists
  • Political maturity
  • Vietnamese adolescents

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