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Who Holds the Mirror? The Creation of an Ideal Vietnamese Woman, 1918-1934.

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Title:Who Holds the Mirror? The Creation of an Ideal Vietnamese Woman, 1918-1934.
Authors:Aitchison, Madeleine E.
Contributors:Asian Studies (department)
Date Issued:May 2018
Publisher:University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Abstract:This thesis analyzes the conception of two different ideal archetypes for Vietnamese
women during the late colonial period, from 1918 until 1934. I use women’s newspapers
(primarily Phụ Nữ Tân Văn) and other contemporary literature to first trace the creation of
“historical” Vietnamese heroines in the early 20th-century. Second, I examine the creation of a
cosmopolitan international woman who demonstrated Vietnamese women’s encounters with the
broad concept of “modernity.” With these two archetypes, writers targeted women and
communicated differing idealized feminine traits to emulate. With Vietnamese heroines,
advocates wished to promote an invented tradition that emphasized women’s duty to the
potential nation of Vietnam and, further, pushed women to commemorate women such as the
Trưng Sisters or Lady Triệu. Within the context of the cosmopolitan New Woman, Vietnamese
writers looked to international news to find exceptional women whom Vietnamese readers
should emulate. Importantly, Vietnamese women came to endorse both of these ideals through
their own writing. The formation of two differing feminine models demonstrates Vietnamese
women’s engagement with historical time and global space to promote what they perceived as
ideal feminine traits. Additionally, these two models show a growing Vietnamese engagement
with global trends and international news, as well as rising nationalism within Indochina.
Description:M.A. Thesis. University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa 2018.
Rights:All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections: M.A. - Asian Studies

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