Author Endres, Kirsten W
Article Title ‘Lộc Bestowed by Heaven’: Fate, Fortune, and Morality in the Vietnamese Marketplace
full text http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14442213.2015.1024718
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Source The Asia Pacific journal of anthropology. vol. 16, no. 3 (Jun. 2015), p. 227-243
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Call number Article
Journal Title The Asia Pacific journal of anthropology.
Copy vol. 16, no. 3 (Jun. 2015), p. 227-243
ISSN 1444-2213
Brief substance Drawing on six months of fieldwork in Lào Cai City at the Vietnam-China border, this paper explores how the intersecting notions of fate, fortune and luck play out in the Vietnamese marketplace and intertwine with moral ideas expressed in economic choices and ethical conduct. Whereas small-scale traders agreed that one needs to work hard in order to prosper, the ways in which economic success is conceptually framed reveal that discipline, rational calculation and personal skills were often downplayed. Instead, a person's propensity for trade and the wealth generated by it were narratively constructed as part of a person's fate decreed by heaven. Moreover, a trader's success in business was referred to as lộc—a key concept in Vietnamese thought that relates to good luck, fortune, prosperity and divine benevolence. Together, rather than fostering a fatalistic attitude towards life, the notions of heaven/trời and fortune/lộc reinforce ideas of moral responsibility for the wellbeing of both present and future generations and thus, indirectly, for the welfare of society as a whole
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full text http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14442213.2015.1024718

 
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