Changing food choices in a changing city : Vietnamese youth in contemporary Hanoi

University essay from Uppsala universitet/Kulturantropologiska avdelningen

Abstract: ABSTRACT    This thesis discusses the changing society and how the urban setting affects how and where people spend their time socializing and eating. The city of Hanoi has undergone changes, which have had an impact on people’s movements, consumption choices and street traders’ livelihood in the city. There are also issues with housing that have arisen, mainly because the city’s expanding growth. The youth of today are living in quite a different social context society than their parents and especially grandparents, due to economic reforms that have rapidly increased the foreign investment and flow of information from the outside world. This has led to some diverging and sometimes conflicting opinions arising from people of different ages possibly having other ideals and values than their parents and grandparents. The state ideals and global influences also affect people’s behaviour and opinions and food choices. I will describe the food scene and changes that have happened to it, due to foreign influences and trade. This study is mainly based on secondary sources, combined with a case study of young people’s eating out food choices based upon my own fieldwork in Hanoi, Vietnam from February to April, 2013. I will situate and contextualize what part food plays for the youths and exploring the difference between street food and fast food and why people would choose one over the other.

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