Music and Censorship in Vietnam since 1954

Norton, Barley. 2018. Music and Censorship in Vietnam since 1954. In: Patricia Hall, ed. The Oxford Handbook of Music Censorship. New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 303-331. ISBN 9780199733163 [Book Section]

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Abstract or Description

This chapter traces the history of music censorship in Vietnam since 1954 with reference to a broad range of music genres. It discusses music censorship from 1954 to 1975, when Vietnam was divided into North and South. The tight ideological control established by the Vietnamese Communist Party in the North is compared with music movements linked to antiwar protests in the South. The chapter then examines the period of severe censorship following the end of the Vietnamese-American war in 1975 and considers how the cultural climate changed in the reform era after 1986. It highlights the limits of cultural freedom in the reform era and discusses how music censorship has become intertwined with concerns about the effects of globalization on morality and national identity. Finally, the chapter addresses the impact of technology since the late 1990s, paying particular attention to Vietnamese rap and the potential for musicians to use the Internet to bypass conventional systems of state censorship.

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Book Section

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music, censorship, Vietnam, Vietnamese Communist Party, war, protest, popular song, cultural freedom, cultural policy, globalization, rap music, Internet

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January 2015Published Online
January 2015Accepted

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Date Deposited:

25 Sep 2017 11:11

Last Modified:

25 Sep 2017 11:11


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