The Lao

Gender, Power, and Livelihood


Carol Ireson-Doolittle; Geraldine Moreno-Black

First Edition • September 1, 2003 • 208 pages


Print ISBN: 9780813340630 • $36.00 USD$77.50 CAN

Ebook ISBN: 9780786751211 • $22.99 USD$26.99 CAN

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The Lao discusses culture and village life in Laos, exploring topics of kinship and family, gender relations, households, religion, livelihood strategies, and ethnicity. In particular, the effects of recent development projects on the relative power of men and women in rural Lao society, and the responses of women to those changes, are highlighted. Ireson-Doolittle and Moreno-Black not only provide a description of life on the ground but also explore how local affairs are connected to the wider world, and how the Lao people preserve traditions while also responding to change.

Carol Ireson-Doolittle is professor of Sociology at Willamette University and the author of Field, Forest, and Family: Women’s Work and Power in Rural Laos (Westview 1996). Her research and teaching interests focus on gender, development and globalization, and Asia. She first worked in Laos as a volunteer in the late 1960s, and has lived and worked in Laos as a development worker and researcher numerous times since then. She and Geraldine Moreno-Black have begun a study of women-owned textile businesses located in Vientiane, Laos and selling in international markets.

Geraldine Moreno-Black is a nutritional anthropologist in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Oregon. Her research interests focus on gender and issues of food security, nutritional status and health. She has worked for over 15 years in Thailand doing research in the Thai-Lao region of the Northeast (Isan) and more recently with industrial workers in the industrial area southeast of Bangkok. She and Carol Ireson-Doolittle have begun a study of women-owned textile businesses located in Vientiane, Laos and selling in international markets.

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