Field, Forest, and Family: Women's Work and Power in Rural Laos

By Carol J. Ireson | Go to book overview

3
Traditional Sources of Power in Rural Women's Lives

Cultural ideas and organizational patterns common throughout Southeast Asia support the relatively high status of some groups of Laotian women, but women of other groups do not share most of these ideas and patterns and are more subordinate. To adequately explore the effects on rural women of macro- level changes during the socialist transition and economic liberalization periods, it seems necessary to understand changes in the work and power of women from more than one ethnic group. Three groups, representative of the three ethnic group categories commonly in use among Laotians themselves, have been selected: the ethnic Lao (the major lowland group), the Khmu (the most numerous midland group), and the Hmong (a major highland group). Women's traditional social position, work, and power are somewhat different in each group, so women of different groups react differently to change.

In later chapters I will explore how changes in the variables presented in Figure 1.1 influence women's power with socialism ( 1975-88) and then economic liberalization ( 1988-present) for women in each of the representative ethnic groups. But first, this chapter discusses women's traditional activities and power in each of these ethnic groups and the village context that shaped the lives of women in each group before 1975.

The vast majority of Laotians live and work in rural areas. People of all ethnic groups reside in villages, though they may spend up to several months at a time living in a field hut during the growing season. Village services, which were rudimentary before 1975, are still very basic: a few grades of school, a health post, wells or water system, a rice mill, or access to a road. Schools in many villages are temporary structures with dirt floors that must be rebuilt every year. Government efforts both before and after 1975 resulted in health posts in a few villages, but they were seldom in operation or supplied with medicine. A few villages, mainly ethnic Lao villages that benefited from aid programs in the decades before 1975, have drilled wells. Some wells that

-55-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Field, Forest, and Family: Women's Work and Power in Rural Laos
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Tables and Illustrations xi
  • Preface xv
  • Acknowledgments xxi
  • 1 - Women: Power, Subordination, And Development 1
  • 2 - Laos: History, Society, And the Situation of Women 27
  • 3 - Traditional Sources of Power In Rural Women's Lives 55
  • 4 - Women of Luang Prabang 109
  • Notes 145
  • 5 - Women's Changing Agricultural Activities 149
  • Notes 176
  • 6 - Forest Gathering, Crafts, and Marketing 179
  • 7 - Family, Home, and Children 207
  • Notes 231
  • 8 - Politics of Gender and Development: Transformation of the Lao Women's Union 235
  • 9 - Rural Laotian Women: Work, Power, and Development 259
  • References 263
  • Index 279
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 286

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.