From Tribalism to Nationalism. The Anthropological Turn in Laos

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✍️ édité par Yves GOUDINEAU (EFEO-CASE) & Vanina BOUTÉ (EHESS-CASE)


For many years, fieldwork was impossible in Laos due to the wars and then because of the overthrow of the royal power and the establishment of a revolutionary regime. Yet this country – where, to this day, very diverse ethnic minorities make up more than half the population – has long been considered by ethnologists as a quite unique place of study. Although limited in number, several good ethnographies were conducted during colonial times and after independence until the 1960s, both among certain ethnic minorities and among Lao villagers. But, with rare exceptions, they adopted a narrow focus, producing ethnic monographs or even village studies.


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From Tribalism to Nationalism. The Anthropological Turn in Laos