We cannot verify your location
Browse Book and Journal Content on Project MUSE

Dreaming of Money in Ho Chi Minh City

by Alison Truitt

Publication Year: 2013

Published by: University of Washington Press

Title Page, Copyright Page

pdf iconDownload PDF (62.5 KB)
pp. 2-7


pdf iconDownload PDF (47.6 KB)
pp. 8-9

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF (55.9 KB)
pp. ix-xi

Collecting material and writing this book has put me in the debt of numerous people, from Ho Chi Minh City to New York, New Orleans, and Houston. I would first like to thank those people who invited me into their homes, included me on their daily errands and trips outside the city, and taught me their streetwise ways. I am especially thankful for the goodwill and humor of...

read more

A Note on Place Names

pdf iconDownload PDF (44.9 KB)
pp. xii-2

A word on my choice of place names and how they are spelled is in order. People today often interchange Saigon and Ho Chi Minh City. The confusion over names is understandable. When I first purchased a ticket to Vietnam in 1996, the sales agent insisted that I couldn’t fly to Ho Chi Minh City, only to Saigon. The miscommunication arose because the international code for Tan...

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF (111.1 KB)
pp. 3-18

This book is about money. More specifically, it is about money in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam’s largest and most populous city. The city’s vibrant markets and alleyways teeming with homegrown businesses, its deepwater port and broad boulevards, and its ample restaurants and sidewalk vendors all signal the city’s rightful place as the country’s center of...

read more

One. The Making of Vietnamese Money

pdf iconDownload PDF (326.4 KB)
pp. 19-40

National currencies have been described as signaling the mutual constitution of the state and its markets as a single moving whole.1 These currencies have standardized economic value in a geopolitical space, reinforced the borders of national markets, and legitimated the role of their issuer, the territorial state. Still, we must be cautious when situating...

read more

Two. Renovating Households

pdf iconDownload PDF (128.9 KB)
pp. 41-61

Capitalist ideologies cast the household as a threshold separating the realm of the public from that of the domestic or the family.1 Money crosses this threshold, providing a bridge that integrates this institutional dualism into a coherent and stable whole.2 Renovation policies in the 1980s emphasized “household economies” (kinh tế gia đình) as a way...

read more

Three. Dollars Are for Keeping

pdf iconDownload PDF (149.3 KB)
pp. 62-82

One evening in Ho Chi Minh City, I showed Mr. Xuân a đồng note issued by the State Bank of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam in 1958. Mr. Xuân had grown up in Hanoi, and I wondered if he remembered the ten-đồng note, the largest note in circulation in northern Vietnam until 1978, when the unified currency was introduced. At the time I...

read more

Four. Summoning Spirits

pdf iconDownload PDF (244.1 KB)
pp. 83-103

Remittances denominated in US dollars in southern Vietnam created a social infrastructure for families that were stretched out across vast geographical distances. These gifts in the guise of US dollar bills were also valued as signs of membership in a globalizing economy. Are there parallels that can then be drawn between the economies of remittances...

read more

Five. The Qualities of Money

pdf iconDownload PDF (178.3 KB)
pp. 104-125

Ordinary people in Ho Chi Minh City have vastly increased the available supply of money by using different currencies. But even while they transact with multiple currencies, their concerns over the quality of money have paradoxically restricted its circulation. This has led not to a unified concept of “money” but rather to a reinforced popular understanding...

read more

Six. Dodging, or Street-Level Strategies for Personal Gain

pdf iconDownload PDF (263.2 KB)
pp. 126-147

In 2007 red banners heralding the country’s accession to the World Trade Organization lined the streets of Ho Chi Minh City. Newly chartered banks redefined the city’s skyline. Billboards advertised new residential complexes yet to be built. And department store displays sparkled with high-end imported goods. How were ordinary people negotiating their own prospects...

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF (69.4 KB)
pp. 148-154

Vietnam’s admission to the World Trade Organization in 2007 came more than twenty years after the Vietnamese Communist Party launched Đổi Mới (Renovation). The following year, the threat of the collapse of global financial institutions triggered a crisis that originated not in Asia but in the heartland of capitalism, the United States. Unlike the collapse...


pdf iconDownload PDF (144.4 KB)
pp. 155-171


pdf iconDownload PDF (114.3 KB)
pp. 172-186


pdf iconDownload PDF (76.8 KB)
pp. 187-193

E-ISBN-13: 9780295804620
E-ISBN-10: 0295804629
Print-ISBN-13: 9780295992747
Print-ISBN-10: 0295992743

Page Count: 205
Publication Year: 2013