About the Author(s)
Minh T. N. Nguyen is Professor of Social Anthropology at Bielefeld University in Germany. She is also Visiting Professor at the University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Vietnam National University, Hanoi, and an Associate of the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle (Saale), Germany.
"Waste and Wealth is a fascinating ethnography, which provides detailed accounts of the lives of migrant waste traders in postsocialist Vietnam. Against the backdrop of Vietnam's transition from a centrally planned to a market economy, Minh T. N. Nguyen seeks to illustrate how the entanglement of global market forces and Vietnamese sociocultural norms shapes the moral lives of waste traders." -- Justin Lau, Exertions
"Waste and Wealth is an outstanding ethnography brimming with vivid details and insights about the lives of Vietnamese waste traders. Tracing the livelihood strategies, hopes, dreams, and struggles of Spring Village traders, Minh Nguyen takes readers on a riveting series of journeys throughout the nation's capital city, Hanoi, and surrounding areas. It is a story of hard, dirty labor, but also of resilience, social mobility, and economic uplift. The waste traders in this book are not only turning waste into gold, but literally remaking themselves, their village, and Vietnam's new rural economy."--Erik Lind Harms, Yale University
"With this compellingly written and highly original ethnography, Nguyen shows how informal recyclers remake themselves, their relationships, and their circumstances, laying to rest the assumptions that waste is inherently worthless and that those who work with it are doomed to abject poverty. The book is clearly written, demonstrating complex entanglements of dirty work, class aspirations, and gender politics in a post-socialist context."--Joshua Reno, Binghamton University
"The ethnography is skillfully crafted, drawing readers into people's lives with a keen appreciation of how they juggle competing moralities and demands on their lives. Nguyen's theoretical contribution is deft, efficient, and--as with the best ethnography--lightly and dexterously woven through her material."--Catherine Alexander, Durham University