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'Join together, work together, for the common good - solidarity': village formation processes in the rural south of Laos
journal contributionposted on 01.04.2006, 00:00 authored by Holly High
This article explores the concept of the solidary village in contemporary Laos. It argues that the "village" today is not a fixed, primordial entity, but a continually emergent formation resulting from numerous processes, including but not limited to modern state processes. The notion of "village" circulates in the ambiguous "common sense" pertaining to rural Laos, in the attitudes, expectations, representations, and regulated requirements of the rural, in what I term village formation projects. Case studies of "village formation projects" in one village in southern Laos illustrate not only the importance of the village concept, but also its indeterminacy and fluidity, and the ensuing difficulty of achieving the "solidarity" and cooperative donation required by poverty reduction policies.