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By Nazli Kibria

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Sample text

Life, I was also, appropriately enough, considered as a “student” of Vietnamese Americans and, more generally, of Vietnamese culture and language. Almost 31 CHAPTER TWO immediately following the initial introductions, I told the participants of the study that I hoped to study their lives through observation and interviews. I explained that besides writing a doctoral dissertation, I would be writing papers and possibly a book on what I had found out about their lives. I assured them that I would not use their names in anything that I wrote, and I would do everything else possible to ensure their anonymity.

Such rotating credit clubs were most common among merchants (including women) because they had regular sources of income from shopkeeping and petty commerce (Nguyen Van Vinh 1949). Modern Vietnamese history is marked by the gradual disintegration of the traditional political and legal organization of village life. Under French rule, the traditional autonomy of the village from the state was considerably reduced, particularly in the south. Village legal authority was transferred to district and regional French courts.

34 THE STUDY AND THE SETTING TABLE 2 Interview Sample, Showing Number of Members per Household Household Number 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Total Women Men Children Total 1 1 1 6 3 0 2 0 1 1 1 1 5 4 2 7 4 5 2 2 1 1 1 1 0 3 0 6 0 0 6 1 3 3 1 3 6 8 3 19 7 5 10 3 5 5 3 5 18 35 26 79 Seven persons: a woman, her three sons, two daughters, and one son-inlaw. Five persons: five men with no kinship ties. Ten persons: a couple and their five children, the woman’s nephew, and his wife and child. Three persons: a man and his two sons.

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