Vietnamese Research Practice
Some Reflections on a Sometimes Key Component of Change∗
The paper broaches the general research issue of whether there are distinct characteristics to common Vietnamese methods of knowledge production, drawing upon the author’s own experiences. It examines various policy documents, and frames its analysis of the implied methods used to produce them through reference to existing research. It is suggested that Vietnamese are ‘catholic’ in their gauging of proposed knowledges, but are so at the level of the individual rather than that of the communities of belief found among societies whose histories refer to the Abrahamic traditions. The paper argues that knowledge validation in Vietnam can often be viewed as similar to the following of inductive procedures, with a stress on the requirement that they be related to ‘perceived reality’. However ‘nous’ is felt to be less of a psychological individual experience and more of a social acceptance one, being marked by terms such as so ket and tong ket (Vietnamese diacritics are omitted). The paper concludes with reference to certain policy documents of major historical importance.
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