Migration and Rural Differentiation: Evidence from a Vietnamese Village

  •  Thi Minh Khue Nguyen    
  •  Thi Dien Nguyen    
  •  Thi Minh Hop Ho    
  •  Philippe Burny    
  •  Thomas Dogot    
  •  Philippe Lebailly    


This paper explores the links between migration and social differentiation in rural Vietnam after the reform period (2005–2015) through a case study of Maithon village, Chilang District, Bacninh Province. Since 2005, many villagers have left Maithon to work in cities, industrial zones or to find employment abroad. The migration process has transformed labour and income structures and supply in many households. However, 90 percent of Maithon households claimed on the positive contribution of remittance, while at the same time, they did not suffer from labour shortage due to the circular pattern of the migration. Therefore, rural out-migration is one of the diversification strategy which enables the villager to gain access to cash income in urban areas while still keep position in rural areas. It has resulted in the increase in the size of the middle class, rather than the generation of the gap between the rich and the poor. Through this process, migration becomes a developmental strategy, as a means for upward mobility rather than mechanism of social differentiation.

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