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Distributed for National University of Singapore Press

It’s a Living

Work and Life in Vietnam Today

Through 67 interviews and 59 photographs, It’s a Living reveals the energy and struggle of the world of work in Vietnam today. A goldfish peddler installing aquariums, a business school graduate selling shoes on the sidewalk, a college student running an extensive multi-level sales network, and a promotion girl intent on moving into management are just a few of the people profiled.

Based on frank and freewheeling interviews conducted by students, the book engages a broad range of Vietnamese, both living in Vietnam and abroad, on their feelings about work, life and getting ahead. By providing a ground-level view of the texture of daily working life in the midst of rapid and unsettling change, the book reveals Vietnam today as a place where ordinary people are leveraging whatever assets they have, not just to survive, but to make a better life for themselves.

350 pages | 5 1/2 x 7 1/2 | © 2013

Asian Studies: Southeast Asia and Australia

Geography: Urban Geography

Sociology: Occupations, Professions, Work

Women's Studies

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Table of Contents

notes to readers


GROWING                farmer
                                    scrap food collector
                                    bonsai grower

FEEDING                  rice liquor maker
                                    tào phó maker
                                    chè maker
                                    phỏ cook
                                    taco truck cook
                                    KFC employee

BUILDING                construction worker
                                    tea company director

MOVING                   bus fee collector
                                    railway crossing guard
                                    wounded veteran moving service owner-operator
                                    motorbike parker
                                    tourism company director

MAKING                   statue craftsman
                                    áo dài tailor
                                    garment factory worker
                                    electronics factory worker
                                    art forger
                                    film director

SELLING                   flower seller
                                    fish seller
                                    adult store salesperson
                                    car dealer
                                    promotion girl

MANAGING             homemaker
                                    deputy director of strategy
                                    wedding planner
                                    multilevel marketer
                                    street-side shoe seller

INVESTING              bank employee
                                    pawnshop owner
                                    lottery ticket seller
                                    chief operations officer

PROTECTING           rat catcher
                                    security guard
                                    army private
                                    prison inmate

REPAIRING              knife sharpener
& RECYCLING        electrical appliance repairer
                                    motorbike mechanic

CLEANING               domestic helper
                                    shoe shiner
                                    laundromat owner

GROOMING             barber
                                    scale lady
                                    grey hair plucker

PLAYING                  ball boys
                                    bar manager
                                    karaoke bar owner
                                    hotel receptionist

TEACHING               kindergarten teacher
& LEARNING           elementary school teacher
                                    buddhist nun

CARING                    nurse
                                    professional carer
                                    bone cleaner


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