美国人类学家2013-09-05 2:56 AM

Everyday Sacrifice and Language Socialization in Vietnam: The Power of a Respect Particle - Shohet - 2013 - American Anthropologist - Wiley Online Library

ABSTRACT The Vietnamese ethic of hy sinh, typically translated as “sacrifice,” involves moral conduct and dispositions that emphasize showing respect to sociocultural “superiors” and yielding to sociocultural “inferiors.” Like “filial piety,” which has been shown to permeate many aspects of life in contemporary Asia, hy sinh is a cultural virtue learned first in families’ daily lives. In this article, I examine how participants’ linguistic and corporeal practices in routine interactions with children relate to their engagements with ancestors. Focusing on video-recorded displays of respect, I argue that these cultivate elementary forms of hy sinh even in a toddler, thus initiating her into intergenerationally continuing moral lifeworlds. Further, I suggest that, like ritual and patriotic forms of “sacrifice” more common in anthropological accounts, hy sinh is an ethical practice that helps substantiate local sociomoral order. It underpins pervasive relationships of asymmetrical reciprocity both beyond and within the family, naturalizing inequality as ethical.

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