- Paperback: 332 pages
- Publisher: University of California Press (June 11, 1979)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780520039544
- ISBN-13: 978-0520039544
- ASIN: 0520039548
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #531,486 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Rational Peasant: The Political Economy of Rural Society in Vietnam
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Popkin attacks the position of moral economists by proposing a rational choice alternative he dubs political economy. According the political economic approach espoused by Popkin, the peasant is not so concerned with maintaining the status quo as the moral economist would have us believe. Rather, the peasant is concerned with maximizing his or her utility. They are willing to gamble and take risks in order to secure a higher social level. The peasant's behavior is always guided by economic rationality.
Although agreeing with Popkin's thesis, I would suggest some improvements in methodology. For example, Popkin made an interesting case study analysis by analyzing the three main historical regions of Vietnam.Read more ›
The other reviewer, Matthew P. Arsenault, missed the point. This is perhap because he is prejudiced by his romantic notion of "nationalism." There were numerous peasant uprising during the Nguyen Dynasty (before the arrival of French Colonial Power). If nationalism is such the primary reason, why did peasant rebelled when they were ruled by fellow Vietnamese. Peasant uprisings were also common in China and Japan before modern time.