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Title: The Emergence of Peer Groups in Vietnam
Keywords: civil society, peer groups in HIV/AIDS
Issue Date: 24-Jul-2009
Citation: PHAM PHUONG MAI (2009-07-24). The Emergence of Peer Groups in Vietnam. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Since Doi moi policy was applied in 1986, the relationship between the state and society in Vietnam has changed significantly, especially in the area of healthcare. Before Doi moi period, the state took the responsibility of subsidizing the entire healthcare service section. However, in the late 1980s, Vietnam fell into the economic crisis, resulting in unstably social development issues. Consequently, the state decided to withdraw its commitment from subsidizing this sphere and opened up more space for the participation of citizens. The involvement of civil organizations, groups and associations is believed to be going to assist the state in healthcare provision and lessen the economic hardship for the state. Among such organizations which contribute considerably to this development process are peer groups. Peer group is a kind of a civil society organization constituted by people having high-risk behaviors or those who are living with HIV/AIDS. The emergence of such peer groups has impacted on the relationship between the state and citizenry and represents a rare example of civil society in Vietnam where the concept of civil society has not been officially accepted. This study offers the contextualized analysis of Vietnam civil society with the illustration of the emergence of peer groups in HIV/AIDS prevention sphere. The qualitative, in-depth interview was employed with 20 informants divided into three subsets of target group in Hanoi ¿ the capital of Vietnam. The results from this study indicate that peer groups has assisted the Vietnamese state greatly in HIV/AIDS prevention with regard to accessing target groups, providing healthcare service, attracting international funds which the state can no longer afford to do since Doi moi. Hence, the Vietnamese state becomes more tolerant towards these groups and gives them a larger space to operate, resulting in the important changes in the state-society relation in Vietnam. This study concludes by suggesting that civil society in Vietnam be examined in the context of distinct political system in which the state keeps holding the most powerful power.
Appears in Collections:Master's Theses (Open)

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