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Negotiating Time and Space

Negotiating Time and Space

Household, Labor, Land, and Movement

(p.121) 4. Negotiating Time and Space
Saigon's Edge
Erik Harms
University of Minnesota Press

This chapter focuses on the constructs of rural and urban Vietnam. It discusses that the inside and the outside of Ho Chi Minh City fashion images and expectations of distinct spatiotemporal worlds bifurcated into discrete, opposed categories. It argues that the oppositions of rural versus urban and inside versus outside produce and maintain a sense of fundamental difference. It explains that the full unity of work, family, and leisure can be achieved in time only when the space of work and leisure are one and the same and when work itself is conceptualized as a social relationship rather than a strict exchange of labor. One can simultaneously work and have free time by integrating the very concept of labor into one’s social life.

Keywords:   rural Vietnam, urban Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City, social relationship, social life

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