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From the Social to the Political: 1920s Colonial Saigon as a “Space of Possibilities” in Vietnamese Consciousness

From the Social to the Political: 1920s Colonial Saigon as a “Space of Possibilities” in... A public political sphere, to exist, requires the convergence of phenomena primarily of socioeconomic and cultural nature. In early twentieth-century southern Vietnam, the emergence of new socially, economically, and culturally determined categories among the indigenous population in the context of modern colonial urbanism was an essential condition for the development of this culture of political diversity. This article describes the new forces brought about by the colonial regime — the imposition of a modern state apparatus, the introduction of French education, the opening of society to the global economy — all of which converged in the making of Saigon, the colonial metropolis. In the city, new forms of individual consciousness arose as a result, and with them, new practices of collective socialization. Fraternal and other voluntary associations would develop and lead to the emergence of a public political sphere, what Jürgen Habermas called a culture of open rational enquiry. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png positions asia critique Duke University Press

From the Social to the Political: 1920s Colonial Saigon as a “Space of Possibilities” in Vietnamese Consciousness

positions asia critique , Volume 21 (3) – Jul 1, 2013

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright © Duke Univ Press
ISSN
1067-9847
eISSN
1527-8271
DOI
10.1215/10679847-2144842
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

A public political sphere, to exist, requires the convergence of phenomena primarily of socioeconomic and cultural nature. In early twentieth-century southern Vietnam, the emergence of new socially, economically, and culturally determined categories among the indigenous population in the context of modern colonial urbanism was an essential condition for the development of this culture of political diversity. This article describes the new forces brought about by the colonial regime — the imposition of a modern state apparatus, the introduction of French education, the opening of society to the global economy — all of which converged in the making of Saigon, the colonial metropolis. In the city, new forms of individual consciousness arose as a result, and with them, new practices of collective socialization. Fraternal and other voluntary associations would develop and lead to the emergence of a public political sphere, what Jürgen Habermas called a culture of open rational enquiry.

Journal

positions asia critiqueDuke University Press

Published: Jul 1, 2013

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